A state championship remains the goal for CHHS Hoops
Published 2:08 pm Wednesday, November 1, 2023
The Charles Henderson Trojans came up just one game shy of the first boys’ state championship in school history last season and capturing that first state crown remains the goal for the program.
Head coach Tim Fayson, entering his third season at the helm, led his Trojans to just the second appearance in a state championship game in school history. He didn’t hesitate when asked what the 2023-2024 Trojans’ goals were.
“The same as always, a state championship,” Fayson emphatically said. “That has been the goal from day one and that doesn’t change. We set that goal my first day as head coach. We want to be the first state championship team at Charles Henderson High School in (boys) basketball.
“They know the expectations and we’ve set the bar. Now, we need guys to step up and fill their roles on the team. I think we have the guys to do it. It may look a little different than last year but I’m really excited about the possibilities with this team.”
Charles Henderson tips off the season next Tuesday, Nov. 7, at Pike Road. Like last season, the Trojans will have to start the season off without seven of its varsity players, who will be in the thick of a playoff hunt on the football field.
“So far, so good,” Fayson said of preseason practices. “We’re dealing with some injuries. We still have seven guys playing football. So, we’ll have some younger guys up on varsity like last year.”
Charles Henderson will enter the Dothan Turkey Classic Thanksgiving Tournament this season, in which the winner gets a chance to compete in the prestigious Dothan Hoops Classic during Christmas break. The Trojans will likely be competing in the Thanksgiving tournament without those football players.
“We probably won’t have everybody by then, so it’s going to be interesting,” Fayson said. “We’re trying to figure out a way to navigate through that. Playing these early games, all of them on the road, is really about getting our young guys ready for that tournament. Hopefully those (games) get us ready for it.”
Fayson is looking to seniors Bray Jones and Bradley Prestwood to lead the team this season, especially early on.
“Bray Jones and Bradley Prestwood are two seniors that have been in the program for four years and are leaders,” Fayson said. “They’ve been around the program and we’re looking for them to really step up this season. They obviously have some big shoes to fill coming behind Jayden (Spearman) and Austin (Cross). So, they have their work cut out.”
Spearman and Cross, both All-State athletes last season, are now playing collegiately. Also departed is Tyler Carlton, who was a big part of Charles Henderson’s run last season.
When the football players return to the team, All-Messenger guard Jywon Boyd will be a big contributor. Last season, Boyd averaged 14 points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals per game.
“Jywon (Boyd), Zion (Grady) and Benton (Dunn) are all guys that were contributors last season that we expect to really help us when they get off the football field,” said Fayson. “Jywon has been a starter here, really for four years. He’ll be a big piece of what we do this year. I’m looking forward to getting those guys back but we’re not rushing them because hopefully they’ll be making another run at a championship (in football).”
With the loss of sharpshooters like Spearman and Cross, shooting is something the Trojans are working on as they search for an identity.
“Shooting, defense and rebounding is the emphasis this year,” Fayson emphasized. “When you have guys like Jayden and Austin shooting the ball you know you can score points. Those guys aren’t here anymore, so we have to figure out what this team does well. That’s the hardest part, figuring out our identity and what makes this team successful.”
Charles Henderson opens the season next Tuesday, Nov. 7, at Pike Road and follows up with a road game against Carver-Montgomery on Nov. 14 before competing in the Dothan Turkey Classic on Nov. 20.