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Destrehan gets head start as first River Parish team to open drills

  • Tags:
  • Spring Practice
  • By:
  • George Becnel
  • Posted:
  • April 25, 2017 - 5:55pm

J.R. Blood (13), who came off the bench to gain valuable experience last season as a sophomore, tosses a pass during Destrehan's first day of spring practice Monday.

The first day of spring football practice at Destrehan on Tuesday had the look of a Head Start program.

Following the departure of veterans such as quarterback Kohen Granier, running back Kristian Mosley, receivers Mike Smith and Justin Jefferson, along with defenders Jaece Stroud and Kieran Webb, the Wildcats return one of their least-experienced teams in recent memory.

“We all got dressed, so that’s a good thing. They all put their helmets on and they are all the right way, so that’s a good thing,” joked Destrehan coach Stephen Robicheaux.

The Wildcats have gotten a true head start, becoming the first River Parish football team of 2017 to open spring practice.

“It’s kind of a dual objective,” Robicheaux said of the early days of spring drills. “You want to see who can play and trying to get kids to learn. We have a lot of new starters this year so it will be a learning process. We want to see who can come out here and get it done. That’s what we’re focusing on.”

A program like Destrehan has seen its share of quality football players come and go, so it’s just a matter of the next guy in line stepping up.

“You kind of hope that guys who didn’t get a lot of experience last year, you hope they retain enough just by being out here and then kind of keep that going with us,” said Robicheaux, whose 2016 squad went undefeated before losing its only game of the season 50-14 to Landry-Walker in the Class 5A semifinals.

Even if the retention process is good, it’s still likely to be a time-consuming teaching spring for the Wildcat coaches. With that in mind, patience can definitely be a virtue.

“You kind of get a little big aggravated because you can’t go quite as fast but you have to give that up to make sure you are teaching proper technique and fundamentals. It will be a little slower for us this year than last year but we have a good group of kids and guys that work hard, so I think we will be fine,” said Robicheaux.

The Wildcats return to the practice field on Wednesday before taking a break for the state track meet. Destrehan will then go to a Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule for the remaining of spring drills, which will conclude with a Spring Game at Covington on May 17.

George Becnel | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

George Becnel is an award-winning journalist and has been a sports writer and editor for more than 30 years.