Hahnville won't underestimate Thibodaux team hungry for win

October 12 at 3:10 pm  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Hahnville's Larry Dixon
Hahnville's Larry Dixon
Some look at Thibodaux and see a program in a down season that might be already casting its eye toward next year.

Don’t count Hahnville coach Nick Saltaformaggio among them.

Saltaformaggio leads his Tigers (4-2, 2-0) into the second of a three week stretch of road games when they head to Thibodaux (1-5, 1-2) Friday night, and he’s readying his players for a battle against a talented group playing with their backs against the wall.

“I’m the opposite of the belief that, ‘oh, they’re 1-5, they’re looking forward to next season,’” Saltaformaggio said. “I expect them to play really, really hard. When you’re a program like Thibodaux High School, every game they play now is gonna determine what kind of season they have. You don’t want to go out as a senior with a losing record. So at 1-5, you have to make sure you don’t get that sixth loss.”

Thibodaux has been a contender for the District 7-5A crown in recent seasons, but absorbed its fifth loss last week at Terrebonne by a lopsided 48-0 score. It was the team’s second straight loss, a 24-6 decision against Destrehan representing the other.

But early in the season, Thibodaux lost three in a row to Vandebilt Catholic, South Lafourche and East Ascension, teams that have combined for a record of 14-4 this season.

Hahnville, meanwhile, is riding high on a three-game win streak, with wins over Destrehan, Terrebonne and Pearl River over the past three weeks.

“I think anyone who plays us wants to be the team that knocks us off our roll,” Saltaformaggio said. “This game with them as well as the next one with East St. John were ones I’d circled on the calendar before the season as games, tough battles that we absolutely needed to get if things didn’t go our way in that early part of the schedule.

“Things have gone our way, but that just means these are games we need to win to have the kind of year you aspire for at Hahnville.”

Quarterback Damarcus Mitchell triggers Thibodaux’s offense. Mitchell brings uncommon size to the position (6-for-3, 240 pounds) and doubles as the team’s middle linebacker.

“You’re going to get QB power runs, counter, counter option stuff … it’s definitely a quarterback attack offense,” Saltaformaggio said. “They throw it fairly well and do it out of the spread. (Mitchell) is an athletic kid and they have some good hands on deck to catch the ball.”

Kevon Williams is Mitchell’s top target, with Saharold Holmes another reliable weapon. Mitchell himself will also split out wide at times when Thibodaux subs in backup quarterback Tyren Young.

Defensively, Thibodaux is big and physical, its front seven led by defensive tackle Darius Richard and Mitchell. Linebacker Derrick Sullivan, defensive back Joshua Holden and linebacker Hunter Trosclair are among other playmakers on the defense.

Those players will be tasked with stopping Anthony Williams of Hahnville, facing Thibodaux for the first time since he set his school’s all-time rushing record in Week 10 of last season. Williams rushed 30 times for 355 yards and four touchdowns in a 44-27 victory.

View other articles written Ryan Arena

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