After two years at the helm of the Destrehan program, head coach Marcus Scott has coached his team through critical district games, thrilling playoff victories and two semifinal games.
But 2022 – knock on wood – will be his first on the Destrehan sideline for a true Week 1 season opener.
Destrehan and the rest of the state had to push back the start of the 2020 season, and in 2021, it was one of many to have to do that again due to Hurricane Ida.
This Friday, however, no compromises should be needed: this will be traditional Friday Night Football at Wildcat Stadium as Bonnabel visits Destrehan.
“The last couple years, it’s been difficult for all of the kids, really, but especially those seniors who are supposed to be guaranteed 10 (regular season) games for their final year, that opportunity to show themselves,” Scott said. “That got cut short. Last year was tough for us and any other teams in this part of the state who were affected by the hurricane. Now we’ve got a chance to play a full schedule, hopefully.
“The kids are excited to play, and I think that goes for kids across the state. This is one of the few sports where you have just one season. A lot of the other sports have play year round, but we have that one season. You practice and prepare so long for it, and once you have a chance to get started, there’s a lot of excitement.”
This is a Destrehan team – and fanbase – with plenty to be excited about. DHS has been to at least the Class 5A semifinals in each of the past three seasons. The Wildcats have a roster boasting several of the state’s most heralded players – and a few of the nation’s best – and ranks among the favorites for state championship honors.
Due to the aforementioned late start, these teams were scheduled to face off in Week 1 last season but did not play.
Bonnabel went 3-4 last season, besting Grace King, Higgins and Riverdale to earn their wins. The Bruins showed progress from a 2020-21 campaign that saw the program drop its first six games before earning a final week victory to go 1-6.
Guiding the Bruins this season is a new head coach – B.J. Cohen, who played both offensive and defensive line as a veteran of the Arena Football League during his playing days, including time with the New Orleans Voodoo. Cohen played college ball at Marshall, where he was a three-time All-American and teammates with NFL Hall of Famer Randy Moss.
His team is led by quarterback Henry Piedy, who generated over 1,000 yards of offense a year ago and who Scott says is impressive on film. Piedy’s top receiver is a dangerous one in senior Nestor Perez.
“He’s a good player. (Piedy) can make some throws and he’s mobile,” Scott said. “They’ve got capable receivers, quality skill guys. We’ll need to be at our best.”
On defense, two-way linemen Jacoby Reed and James Young combine with linebacker Brandon Lewis to lead the Bruins.
RIDE THE WAVE: Destrehan has several players on the roster committed to play at the next level, and over the past two weeks three players have made their intentions known to make that journey together.
Quarterback Jai Eugene, offensive lineman Landry Cannon and defensive back Kevin Adams all made verbal commitments to play at Tulane, a destination that has been the landing spot for several St. Charles Parish players in recent years. The three Wildcats will be joined by Hahnville wide receiver Dakota Williams, another Wave commitment.
“We’re excited for them,” Scott said. “The main thing for them was making that decision and getting it out of the way, to have a productive senior year and not have that be hanging over them as a stressful deal. We have a few guys left still making the decision, but we have most of them done.”
CLEANING IT UP: These early weeks of the season are where cohesion is built, and the wrinkles are ironed out. Scott said he wants to see his team keep the number of penalties down – especially the needless ones – be sure tacklers and strong on special teams.
“We had three penalties the other night, and two were dead ball,” Scott said. “So that’s certainly unnecessary. Those are things that we need to cut out early and not make poor choices. If you allow yourself to make those mistakes, you’ll pay the price for them.”
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