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DHS Wildcats don’t really need to don full pads to create intensity

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  • Feature Story
  • By:
  • George Becnel
  • Posted:
  • August 10, 2017 - 9:03am

Destrehan quarterback J.R. Blood shows off his form during a Wildcats practice Wednesday. Blood and his teammate put on fill pads for the first time Thursday.

Like all other teams in the state, the Destrehan Wildcats will be putting on full pads for the first time Thursday in preparation of the 2017 football season.

Unlike a lot of teams, it’s doesn’t mean the Wildcats will do a whole lot of hitting.

We have inside drills that will kind of take us a step up but as far as practice schedule, it doesn’t change a whole lot,” Destrehan coach Stephen Robicheaux said at the Wildcats’ practice Wednesday afternoon. “We do so much in the summer and all that it just kind of fits in to start the regular season.

“We will have a little fun and have the guys hit a little bit but as far as constant beating. We try to stay away from that.”

The start of fall practice, Robicheaux said, has been a smooth transition from summer workouts.

“We got a lot of stuff in over the summer and now it’s just a little bit different because you have shells on. The kids that have come out have been enthusiastic. We’ve dodged the weather and got out most of the time so far,” the Destrehan coach said.

The nature of high school football is that one group graduates and another steps up. That can cause subtle changes from year to year.

“The biggest difference is the offensive line,” Robicheaux said of the 2017 Wildcats. “Last year we had some great players, big guys, that signed college scholarships. This year, we are probably a little smaller but very athletic. That group’s been aggressive the past three days. We are real excited about that group. If they can have a good year, we have skilled guys around them, and hopefully, it will be good.

The same thing defensively. For some reason, we are not as big as we’ve been in the past. We have guys that fly around that are good athletes that do a good job.”

While the characteristics of a team may change from year to year, Destrehan has built a program as opposed to a team, so consistency is a major focus, according to Robicheaux.

“We are pretty much a system and we kind of want to stay the course but you have to adjust a little bit as far as guys maybe being overwhelmed on the offensive line because those guys are smaller. But what you lose in size, you pick up in speed and agility and I think that’s a big part of both sides of the ball,” the Destrehan coach said.

Those developing lineman will be surrounded by quality skilled position players.

“The guys that have shown up have done the things they need to do. J.R. (Blood) is throwing the ball well. John (Emery) looks real good. Our receivers are catching the ball real well. There’s a guy that we picked up, a 6-foot-4 receiver, is coming in as a freshman that looks real good, Quincy Brown. The line has done a good job.”

The Wildcats will scrimmage at Salmen August 18 and host Lutcher in the jamboree August 25.

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.