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Hahnville Tigers feeling thankful with the opening of spring drills

  • Tags:
  • Spring Practice
  • By:
  • George Becnel
  • Posted:
  • May 06, 2017 - 10:33am

A Hahnville receiver reaches back to make a catch during the opening day of spring football practice for the Tigers on Thursday afternoon.

Nick Saltaformaggio was in a thankful mood Thursday afternoon.

“It feels like Thanksgiving Week. It’s great,” the fourth-year Hahnville coach said during the Tigers’ opening day of spring football practice.

It was easy to confuse the seasons Thursday. After days and several inches of rain, the Tigers were able to get on the field for the first day of drills. In place of the rain came a mix of intermittent sun and cloud clover, temperatures in the low 60s and a strong wind that made the day feel more like fall instead of spring.

Getting off to a spring start, nothing short of a monsoon was likely to keep the Tigers off the field Thursday.

“Thank God for turf,” said Saltaformaggio. “We got started a little late. We have a bunch of guys in track and I thought we would still be playing baseball, so I pushed spring (practice) back a good week.

“It’s the first day and we are kind of moving around and figuring out where everybody belongs. Even setting up drills has been complicated for us. Our managers are picking up bags too early and things like that. We have a lot of guys and we have a lot of good players.”

In some ways, the initial day of spring drills had Saltaformaggio harkening back to his first spring at Hahnville four years ago.

“We lost a lot of players. We have a lot of young guys out doing new things so it’s sort of like my first spring all over again,” the Hahnville coach said. “The good thing about it is our guys know the routine. They know the practice routine and our practice schedule. Even our young kids know our practice routine and our practice schedule.

“The big thing is teaching them tempo – getting them up to tempo. Our offense is still working while our defense is still standing around. That doesn’t make me real happy but we’ll figure it out as we go along in spring.”

Hahnville faces a tight practice schedule. The Tigers return to practice Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday next week. They will work Monday and Tuesday of the following week before beginning preparations for a spring game versus D’Iberville of Mississippi in Biloxi on May 19.

“We only get 10 (days of spring practice) and we’re playing a team that gets 15 in D’Iberville of Mississippi (in the spring game),” Saltaformaggio said. “We get 10 practices and we are playing a spring game, so that gives us nine (days). We will intra-squad, so that will give us eight. I will take two days to prep for D’Iberville, so that gives us six install days.”

The Hahnville coach said he expects quality competition with D’Iberville in the spring game.

“They are a very, very good football team and they will be well-prepared. They have a very physical program and it was important for me to get that kind of atmosphere in the spring,” said Saltaformaggio.

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.