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Destrehan Wildcats again among early tests for Hahnville Tigers

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  • George Becnel
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  • April 26, 2017 - 6:40pm

File photosThe Hahnville Tigers are slated to take on the Destrehan Wildcats on the road for the fourth time in the last five meetings between the St. Charles Parish rivals.

Maybe Nick Saltaformaggio will settle for a neutral site.

“This will be my fifth time coaching against Destrehan and four of the five have been at Destrehan. It’s just the way it’s been the luck of the draw for me,” said Saltaformaggio, who will be in his fourth season as Hahnville coach in 2017.

For the third year in a row, Hahnville will meet Destrehan in the district opener in Week 4. Before the Tigers get there, they will have to navigate through a pre-district schedule that includes West Jefferson, John Ehret and Brother Martin.

“West Jeff has been a little up and down but Coach (Cyril) Crutchfield has won state championships at South Plaquemines and coached Leonard Fournette at St. Augustine. You know you will get a quality-coached football team with great athletes,” said Saltaformaggio. “John Ehret knocked us out of the playoffs last year and they have a really good football team coming back. Brother Martin was a state semifinals in Division I and always fields a good football team.”

Then it’s the game at Destrehan to open District 7-5A action.

“I like to challenge ourselves early. Unfortunately for us, we draw Destrehan to open district. We get those three hard ones in a row and then we have our biggest rival following them. If you can win enough of them, you will be seeded pretty high in the state playoff,” the Hahnville coach said.

Those four games, especially the one against Destrehan, Saltaformaggio said, will be a gauge of just how good the Tigers might be in 2017.

“They are the measuring stick for all of us – not just in our district or St. Charles Parish, but Destrehan is a measuring stick for all of 5A football in Louisiana. When you start talking about the handful of teams that can win a state championship, Destrehan’s name comes up, as it should,” said Saltaformaggio.

After Destrehan, Hahnville is slated to host Terrebonne. The Tiger play the next three on the road. After a non-district game at Pearl River, Hahnville travels to East St. John and Thibodaux. The three games, couple with the Destrehan contest, means the Tigers will go through a stretch of four road games in five weeks.

“We will have four out of five on the road in the middle of the season, but if we are fortunate enough to win some of those games, at the back end, when it’s important, you will have an opportunity to play to play four in a row in Tiger Stadium,” said Saltaformaggio.

Hahnville closes the regular season at home against Central Lafourche and H.L. Bourgeois. If the Tigers manage another Top 8 seed in the Class 5A playoffs as they have in recent year, Hahnville could have a chance to host the first two rounds of the playoffs at home.

For that to be a possibility, the Tigers will have to take care of business early in the season.

“In the first three weeks of the season, you will play playoff-tested teams that have made deep runs,” Saltaformaggio said.

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.