Undefeated Charles Henderson High Trojans Ready for Championship Game


By Brittany Bivins

The SEC Championship isn't the only big football game this week. The Alabama High School Athletics Association state titles are up for grabs. And one team in our area has the chance to claim the 4-A state championship title.

The Charles Henderson High School football team began hitting the workout room in January, and they've been working every day since to make sure this season is a winning season."

This season, the Charles Henderson High School Trojans are undefeated on the field, at 14-0. It's the first time they've made it this far in more than thirty years. So what's so different about this team?

"The brotherhood," said John Johnson, who plays receiver. "We all love each other and we all fight for each other every Friday night."

"We've come together as a team. Other years that we played, we played as individuals. We couldn't win, we know we couldn't win like that," said running back Kendele Passmore.

"As far as coming together, it's probably the closest team I've been on," said Hunter Steed, who plays offensive lineman.

The team trains together every morning, and the players eat breakfast together. There's always healthy snacks available in the practice area, too, just in case someone gets hungry during the day. Coach Mike Dean says it's worth it to make sure the players are getting healthy food to fill them up. Dean says most of his team were always willing to put in the extra work.

"We found out real quick, the majority of kids wanted to be here, 6:00, it wasn't a problem, we would go get them. Most of them found a way to get here, but we would make a tour of the town, and we're picking kids up," Dean said.

The team's undefeated season has sent a surge of pride throughout the city, school leaders say.

"It means so much, it brings so much school pride and spirit, and again, I think it's just an example of what we have going on at Charles Henderson High School," said CCHS Principal Boyd English.

"We have accomplished a lot of things, you know, it's changed the community a little bit," said Joshua Noel, who plays receiver.

There's a lot on the line Friday, for the team as a whole and the players individually.

"It means I get more exposure because I hope to play college football and more schools will get to see me because I play longer," said Hunter Kennedy, who plays left tackle.

Still, no matter who gets the title, Coach Mike Dean says this season is a win.

"Ninety-nine percent of these kids will not play college football. Everything we do is about teaching them to be great husbands one day, great fathers, great leaders in this community," Dean said.

Charles Henderson Highs School will kickoff against Oneonta at 11 A.M. Friday at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa. The school will be closed all day to give students a chance to go to the game.


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