Wildcats use spring to evaluate, retool

Destrehan coach Stephen Robicheaux calls spring an evaluation period, and given the Wildcats need to replace six starters on offense and nine on defense going into next season, it wasn’t a time he, nor his coaching staff, would take lightly.Some good news for Destrehan fans, then, was that the veteran coach was upbeat after the conclusion of DHS’ 2016 spring practice slate, which concluded with a spring game scrimmage at home against Covington last Thursday.

“We were fortunate to get all 10 days in,” Robicheaux said. “We always like playing against those guys (Covington) because they’ve got a great approach and are good competition. The key thing right now is you can watch guys practice for nine days and still not know how they’re going to react against an opposing team. I thought we had some young guys really step up.”

The Wildcats’ first team outscored the Lions two touchdowns to one in the portion of the scrimmage where the teams alternated series of possessions between the first and second units, both DHS scores coming on touchdown passes from Kohen Granier — one to Justin Jefferson and the other to Mike Young.

Covington quarterback Josh Alfaro scored the Lions’ lone touchdown.

Granier will enter his second full season as starter this fall and his third of regular playing time. Robicheaux believes the young passer might be in for his best season yet.

“He threw the ball real well, coming off a grueling baseball season,” Robicheaux said. “He’s a guy who started in the Superdome as a sophomore and he’s only getting better. As he goes, we’ll go. He’s a student of the game and a great kid.”

The teams ended the scrimmage on a 15 minute timed quarter of first team competition. DHS outscored Covington 14-7 in that frame, scoring both touchdowns on Kristian Mosley runs. Mosley accounted for nearly 170 total yards of offense in the scrimmage despite having a 70-yard run called back early on.

“We’re really pleased with the way Kristian performed running the football,” Robicheaux said.

“That’s nothing but encouraging. The guys we expected to be offensive playmakers largely did as we hoped and expected.”

Defensively, there’s a bit more retooling to do, but the spring returns were solid as the Wildcats’ first team defense allowed the Covington first team just a lone score.

Among the starters Destrehan must replace are defensive end Glen Logan and defensive tackle Gerald Wilbon, who signed with LSU and Texas, respectively.

Defensive end Jaece Stroud will be counted on to follow up his big season as a defensive anchor, and Robicheaux said the senior wrapped up a “phenomenal” spring.

285-pound nose guard Kieran Webb was singled out by Robicheaux as a player who had a fine spring, while juniors Bryce Scioneaux and Jabriel Fields are other rising players to watch in the Destrehan front seven.

“You talk about a Logan, a Wilbon, you don’t replace those guys. They’re special players,” Robicheaux said. “Our defense will take on a new look, and we won’t be as big, but we look to be pretty quick. We think we have a group of guys who will run to the ball and make a lot of plays, just in a different way.”

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