“Long Week” has come to an end for the Hahnville football team.
With the high school football season starting a week later than in the recent past, Hahnville, like other teams, went through workouts starting with shells and then full pads but had no opponent to face at the end of the week.
Coaches call that the “Long Week” – the final time until the conclusion of the season that a team will not close the week against an opponent, starting with next week’s scrimmages and then the jamborees leading into the start of the regular season.
“It’s really, really been a long week,” Hahnville coach Nick Saltaformaggio said. “This is a late year in the Federation calendar. We don’t play our first game until September 6 and we started August 1. It’s very, very unusual to have that kind of almost six-week timeframe from your first week of practice to your first game.
Until the team put on full pads late in the week, it had been since the spring since the Tigers had a chance to bang against another foe – even if it was a teammate. That made some of the Tigers a bit antsy.
“Thursday was the first day in full pads and I think that kind of led to a few after-contact scuffles we were having because the kids really were wanting to hit somebody,” said Saltaformaggio.
Despite that, the Hahnville coach said he is content with what he has seen so far from his team.
“There are some ‘homework’ things we have to deal with that are not related to football but as far as related to football, I’m really, really happy,” said Saltaformaggio. “We are doing some good things. I’m hoping we can carry it over.
Daniel Luquet has done a real good job installing the spread offense. Defensively, we like not only the talent we have on that side of the ball but we have had a little shift in our scheme from more of three-down look to a four-down look.”
Luquet, a former Destrehan quarterback and assistant coach, has taken over the Hahnville offense after a stint as the head coach at Woodlawn in Baton Rouge.
The extra time, Saltaformaggio said, has given the Tigers a chance to concentrate on certain aspects of the game that generally don’t happen so early into the preseason.
“It also gave us a couple of extra days to work on our kicking game,” he explained. “We try to work our kicking game every other Wednesday during the summer but to say you are working that as much as you are working your everyday offense and defense, we don’t. It actually gave us time to implement our kicking game and so some things in the kicking game that we always kind of crunched for time to do.”
If Hahnville is coming off a long week, next week will be a short one when the Tigers play at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Northshore in a scrimmage.
“That will be a big scrimmage for us. We really have to do well in that. The beginning of the year is very important to us. Our first four or five games are going to make or break us,” Saltaformaggio said.
Hahnville’s first five games include the likes of Denham Springs, Mandeville, Higgins, Terrebonne and East St. John.
Following the scrimmage against Northshore, the Tigers will begin to shift gears with their practice approach, according to Saltaformaggio.
“We will be more in kind of a game mode,” Saltaformaggio said. “Practice kind of changes a little bit. For the better part of August we have been doing Hahnville against Hahnville. Starting Monday, we will break up team-wise. Our scout team will start to implement Northshore’s offenses and defensives.”