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Potential stormy weather causes changes to jamboree schedules

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  • George Becnel
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  • August 23, 2017 - 8:19am

File photosRobert Valdez's St. James Wildcats host Assumption in Thursday night's jamboree that also features West St. John and Donaldsonville.

Potential heavy rain associated with the remnants of Tropical Storm Harvey has led to two River Parish jamborees moving from Friday to Thursday.

The Ed Reed Jamboree featuring Lutcher at Destrehan is now slated for 6 p.m. Thursday. Also, the St. Charles jamboree also has been moved to Thursday. The jamboree in Laplace will begin at 6 p.m. with Country Day taking on Hannan, followed by St. Charles facing St. Thomas Aquinas.

The St. James Jamboree remains on Thursday as originally scheduled. West St. John will take on Donaldsonville at 6 p.m., followed by the St. James-Assumption contest.

Also, Hahnville will host Jesuit at 6 p.m. Thursday as originally scheduled.

Riverside Academy’s jamboree game at Mandeville, slated for 6 p.m. Friday, has not yet been changed.

The remaining River Parish team, East St. John, is slated to face Lake Area in the St. Augustine Jamboree at 3 p.m. at Tad Gormley Stadium in New Orleans.

River Parish teams are using the jamborees as a final tune-up to the start of the regular season.

“We just want to clean up some things that we worked on last week. We want to make sure we are pretty sound with alignments and know where we are supposed to be and use this as a tune-up for the first game,” said West St. John coach Brandon Walters.

“The jamboree is a chance for us to go out and be able to get some things done without the coaches being on the field and see how we handle a game-like situation,” said St. James coach Robert Valdez.

While the Hahnville Tigers will serve as hosts for the event, Hahnville coach Nick Saltaformaggio said he is not a big fan of jamborees.

“They don’t count but then again, they have fans in the stands and the scoreboard is lit up,” said Saltaformaggio. “You have to kind of walk a tightrope. We will play our starters about half of the game. Probably in the second half we will have some massive substitutions just because the next week, it counts. I look forward to getting as many guys reps in a game-like situation but I’m always kind of conscious that I don’t want to get any of my better plays nicked up or beat up in a game that doesn’t count, especially with the kind of schedule we like to play early in the year.”

The experience in last week’s scrimmages gives coaches an idea of things to work on in the jamboree. Walters’ Rams are coming off a 28-28 tie with Lutcher.

“In the sense that we have been concentrating on execution – cleaning up the little things within a play to make sure the play goes correctly,” Walters said of his team’s jamboree focus. “That’s what we want to make sure we are doing right – working up as far as alignment, key points and how we want to block and different areas of what we want to do with the quarterback as far as his reads. We just want a fine tuning of everything.”

“I know we have to be a little bit better catching the football and blocking the perimeter with our receivers,” said Saltaformaggo, whose Tigers dominated Northshore. “I’m interested to see if our snaps get better.

“Defensively, I want to see if what I saw Friday is true. We struggled defensively the last three years here but Friday it was like the defenses I’m used to seeing at East Jefferson and Chalmette – just really physical, fast kids in the right spots and making plays and getting turnovers.”

St. James is coming off a scrimmage against Patterson.

“I think Assumption is a very quality opponent so therefore we have to raise our level of physicality a little bit. We have to do a better job of starting faster. We were kind of a little stagnant (against Patterson) and against good teams, you don’t have the opportunity for them to get going. I’d like to see us come out and play a little more physical and aggressive from the beginning part and being able to sustain it,” Valdez said.

Unlike scrimmages, jamborees allow teams to work on live special teams.

“We kicked in the scrimmage but we didn’t have coverage. It was a dead ball after the kick. Friday night, those return games are real. I want to see how our coverage teams handle it,” 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.