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Hahnville coaches, players mesh as 2018 season quickly approaches

  • Tags:
  • Feature Story
  • Players
  • By:
  • George Becnel
  • Posted:
  • August 10, 2018 - 7:07pm

Hahnville junior Brandon Comardelle works on a drill for running backs during a Tigers' practice session on Thursday afternoon in Boutte.

When football teams begin to prepare for a new season, it’s not uncommon for tape to be place on the front of players’ helmets with their names written with black markers. That helps to identify the players, especially the newcomers.

During camp at Hahnville, it wouldn’t have been surprising if there was tape on caps for all the new assistant coaches.

“We have Coach Carey Melvin from H.L. Bourgeois. He’s now our defensive coordinator. Coach Ervin Hodges came over from Helen Cox and he’s coaching our linebackers. Coach Mark Gonzales came over from Thibodaux. He’s coaching our running backs. Easton Melancon, who was a great player here, is now coaching our quarterbacks,” Hahnville head coach Nick Saltaformaggio rattled off.

It was a time used to get the coaches better acquainted with each other as well as the players.

“We had an excellent summer, so I wasn’t shocked that our camp would go so well,” Saltaformaggio said earlier this week three days into fall practice. “The big thing is just meshing. We have a bunch of new coaches.

“They have meshed so well. It’s just been a pleasant two weeks. If we can carry it over when the bullets start flying, it could be a good year again.”

Last season’s good year led to a trip to the Class 5A finals. The team got there via the legs of running back Anthony “Pooka” Williams, now a Kansas Jayhawk.

If the Tigers get to the finals again, it will be via a different route. Prolific Andrew Robison, a transfer from Vandebilt Catholic, is a Tiger for his senior season. Another Andrew – Andrew Naquin is a promising sophomore with good size.

Either player would allow the Tigers to throw the ball much more than a year ago.

“Both Andrew Naquin and Andrew Robison have made our team better just because of the unbelievable competition that they are battling for that all-important spot,” Saltaformaggio said. “One (Robison) brings a lot of experience with a big arm and moxie – the son of a coach. The other just brings a great love for Hahnville. He’s been a Hahnville kid his whole life.

“It’s been infectious. Our team is competing much harder out at practice.”

The Tigers will host Northshore in a scrimmage slated to begin at 6 p.m. on August 17.

Along with the usual objectives for a scrimmage game to come out healthy and to develop a depth chart, aspects of the newly-found passing game will be in focus against Northshore, according to Saltaformaggio.

“I want to see if we can throw the ball. Really, it comes with protection. We know both the Andrews can throw and that we have some receivers but when you’ve been a predominately run football team like we’ve been, can we protect? Can we protect four-man fronts, five-man fronts and the stunt game? That’s what I want to see in the scrimmages,” the Hahnville coach 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.