Valdin: Jamboree is dress rehearsal for special teams
Tigers take on St. James at 6 p.m. at DHS
Instead, he will be focused on special teams.
"For me, the only thing I care about in the jamboree is special teams," Valdin said. "I don't know what our jamboree record is and I don't care. All I want is to get as many special teams on the field as I can."
For Valdin, the jamboree serves as a dress rehearsal for his kicking unit. That means taking advantage of as many different special teams situations as possible.
"If it's fourth and an inch, then we are going to punt the ball," he said. "It is much more important for our punter to see a live rush than it is for us to get a first down in a jamboree. Preseason games don't count."
Valdin said that last week's scrimmage against St. Charles Catholic was the dress rehearsal for both his offense and defense. The Comets came out to play in the game and dominated the Tigers on both sides of the ball.
"The guys are working hard and getting better, but it was very evident by the scrimmage that we are inexperienced," Valdin said.
Hahnville lost several starters from last year, including quarterback Brian Ensminger, running back Ahmad White and receiver Derek Howard. Those three players accounted for 3,416 of the Tigers' 3,723 yards of offense last season.
The defense was also hit hard by graduation, with the Tigers losing four starting linebackers in Ben Taylor, Brody Bourg, Treval Dunmiles and Lindzell Rhodes. They also return only one starting defensive lineman in Jamon Lathers.
Offensively though, Valdin said he has been impressed with the play of running backs Travis Faucheaux, Mike Ford and Ernest Thompson. He also said that junior quarterback Easton Melancon, who has taken over leadership of the offense, played well in the scrimmage.
"I thought our running backs have looked good and offensively we only turned the ball over one time in the scrimmage," he said. "I thought Easton made good decisions with the football, but our receivers didn't step up. They did a pitiful job of catching the ball."
Valdin knows that the receiver position is the biggest question mark on the team. The only player returning at the position is senior Ronny Green, who had 120 yards receiving last year.
None of the other current starters had a catch last season.
The Tigers have dominated St. James in the last two jamborees, winning 21-6 in 2009 and shutting out the Wildcats by a 14-0 score last year. This year's game is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. at Destrehan High School.
The game will consist of two 15-minute halves and the clock will stop just as it would in a real game situation.
Destrehan and Lutcher will then take the field at 7:30 p.m.
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