Itís been two years since Stephen Robicheaux last patrolled the Destrehan High School football field, but the one thing he knows for certain this spring is that itís good to be back.
"It was a great feeling this spring," Robicheaux said. "Itís something you love to go and be able to get back to. When I got on the field and looked around, I thought, ĎThis is home.í
"Itís good to be back."
But Robicheaux is less certain about the players that now surround him. Missing two years has made things more difficult as he prepares his squad for the coming season.
"The challenge this spring was that I didnít know the kids. In the past, I know what to expect and what they can do," Robicheaux said. "We had to put in a new offense and add some wrinkles in defense and we are still learning the guys and who can play and who can help you where."
Still, Robicheaux said there is a lot of excitement around the program. He had 120 students come out for spring practice and he said the players improved greatly in the short 10-day spring span.
What impressed Robicheaux the most though was the play of quarterback Donovan Isom, who saw limited time at the position as a sophomore last season.
"He is going to be real good for us," Robicheaux said. "As a upcoming junior, he has great mechanics and he really threw the ball well. He will have a lot of weapons."
The most potent weapon is receiver Rickey Jefferson, who heads into next year as one of the top playmakers in the nation. Though Jefferson broke his leg and missed most of last season, Robicheaux said he shows no signs of injury.
"Rickey was unbelievable," he said. "We had to put a bridle on him as far as practice was concerned because of his injury, but he showed no signs of it. I actually had to pull him out of a scrimmage because he was blocking kids down field and we didnít want him to get hurt."
Robicheaux was even more impressed with Jeffersonís leadership on the football field.
"He has such a positive attitude and the kids are buying into it," he said.
Defensively, Robicheaux said his squad looked good at times and that the overall attitude of the team was one of excitement.
"They are reacting to the coaches and everyone is on board," he said. "I donít know how many games we are going to win next year, but I can tell you that the kids are doing everything we are asking of them. With the combination of the kids and coaches we have here, Iím really excited about the season."