Hahnville grad proved to be a leader both on and off the field

Sam Simoneaux was a hard-hitter during his time at Hahnville.

At safety for the Tigers football squad, he hit opponents hard, just as he hit the ball hard on the baseball diamond. And when it came to the classroom, he brought that same effort and focus – and now he’s on his way to LSU where he’ll be majoring in computer engineering.

A two-year starter in both of his athletic endeavors, he said things tend to fall into place when you’re part of a group playing for one another.

“It’s a family,” Simoneaux said. “Your teammates, your coaches, everybody’s in it together. It’s something I’ll definitely keep great memories of forever.”

One of Simoneaux’s big moments as a competitor came near the end of his senior year. He scored the game-winning run in the final inning of Hahnville’s 2-1 victory over rival Destrehan – Simoneaux and the Tigers swept the Wildcats in what was a strong bounce-back season for the baseball program.

“Coming in with a new coach (Jared Vial, in his first season with the Tigers), we knew it would be different and it was just a matter of finding out what exactly was going to change,” Simoneaux said. “For us, we needed to buy in. All of us seniors buying into what coach said, trust in what he says … if we do that, we have success, and once (the seniors) do that, the younger players in the program will do the same.”

He took pride in his leadership role, be it verbally or simply by example. That process didn’t begin immediately once he broke into the starting lineup on the football field, however.

“My first year starting, I kind of just followed the guys who had been there,” Simoneaux said. “Those guys who had experience, I just tried to learn from them. Once I did that, that next year I had the experience and I could teach our first-year starters.”

What advice would he give those younger players?

Just be a hard-worker. Watch film, learn the coverages and know where you need to be,” Simoneaux said. “Just doing your job is enough – you don’t have to be the big playmaker every play. If everyone does their job consistently enough, you can have a pretty successful team.”

Simoneaux was part of the Beta Club, National Honor Society and Spanish National Honor Society.

He was a strong student, and he said the ability to successfully balance his studies with his extracurricular activities was critical for him at HHS.

“I did really well in school, and a lot of that came down to learning time-management skills,” he said. “Staying organized with my school work and knowing if I have things to do and I have a game the next day, I’d better do this now and not later.”

A lot of that came down to his own comfort – Simoneaux doesn’t like to leave unfinished business.

“I’ve always kind of been like that. I don’t like to be overwhelmed with things so I like to stay on top of everything,” he said.

That will no doubt help him greatly when he arrives at LSU.


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