Physical Higgins squad will test Hahnville’s offensive line
Ahmad White (pictured) and Brian Ensminger will be counted on to lead the Hahnville offense this season.
Higgins finished the 2009 season with a 7-4 record that included a 4-1 mark in their district. The Hurricanes advanced to the playoffs where they lost to Archbishop Shaw in the first round by a score of 25-12.
"Higgins is a very physical team," Hahnville head coach Lou Valdin said. "They try to knock you off the ball and we are really going to have to perform well in pass protection."
Going into the 2010 season, the offensive line is a big question mark for the Tigers. Only two starters, center Alex Brown and left tackle Alvin Kelly, return from last year's squad. The other probable starters include junior Thomas Jones at left guard, senior Cole Walker at right guard and sophomore James Diggs at right tackle.
Valdin said he will be watching his offense closely in the scrimmage.
"While the jamboree is a dress rehearsal for your special teams, the preseason scrimmage is all about offensive execution," he said. "Higgins is going to be a good test for our team."
If the line can provide protection this year, senior signal caller Brian Ensminger could put up some monster numbers.
He threw for more than 2,000 yards last season and averaged 168.9 yards a game. Ensminger also tossed 25 touchdowns compared to only five interceptions.
He will have two experienced targets in receivers Derek Howard and Dontrell Strickland.
Howard had 24 catches for 348 yards, while Strickland finished the season with 9 catches for 161 yards.
While the Tigers did lose star running back Alfred Blue, speedy senior Ahmad White is ready to step in. White was limited to only 47 carries last season, but he racked up 272 yards for a 5.79-yard-per-carry average.
"I don't think we're going to have much of a drop off at the running back position," Valdin said.
While the team's biggest worry heading into the scrimmage is the offensive line, all defensive units look solid.
The line is bolstered by returning starters Eric Simpson and Jontrell Lockett, while at linebacker the Tigers return starters at three of the four positions.
Seniors Ben Taylor, Treval Dunmiles, and Brody Bourg all possess great speed and should take the pressure off of an inexperienced, but talented secondary.
The fourth starter at linebacker, senior Lynzell Rhodes, started on the defensive line last season.
Though the weather has been difficult, the Tigers have gotten in a lot of work and Valdin feels they are ready for Higgins.
"We have been lucky to get outside because the rain hasn't really interfered with our practice," he said. "Practice has been good, we had a really good camp, and now we are concentrating on polishing our starters."
The scrimmage is set to begin at 5 p.m. at Hahnville.
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Tigers earn victory against Wildcats, turn attention to tourney - 628 views
The last time Hahnville and Destrehan squared off in district softball action, the Wildcats handed the Tigers their first loss in that rivalry in nearly a decade. Last Tuesday, Hahnville earned a measure of payback.