For Hahnville head coach Nick Saltaformaggio, the only thing better than the first 2-0 start for the Tigers in his tenure as head coach would, naturally, be a 3-0 start.
That’s what the Tigers are pushing for Friday night at home when Hahnville hosts L.W. Higgins, which is attempting to capture its first win after losses to Lusher and Shaw to start the season.
A hot start was something Saltaformaggio said would be vital, with games against Jesuit and Destrehan looming cap the regular season in Weeks 9 and 10. Hahnville will enter Friday night as a favorite to go 3-0, but it’s not a time to take a foot off the gas pedal. The Tigers have rallied around the goal of restoring the program and lifting it back to the elite after a 6-6 2018 campaign, and for Saltaformaggio, watching his players play with purpose has been a treat, one he would rather not see end anytime soon.
“We have to continue to play with that anger we’re been playing with,” Saltaformaggio said. “I think the word is out that we’re pretty good on defense. We have to keep playing with that effort, that anger … we’re tackling very well. We’ve forced eight turnovers.”
Hahnville has allowed just 13 total points and less than 200 yards of total offense through two weeks. The team is playing with a lot of confidence. Saltaformaggio cautions that it’s easy for confidence to become arrogance, though, and that’s a false step his team cannot afford to take. His message to his players has been to ignore Higgins’ winless record and focus on the task at hand—something of a challenge, given that the Tigers’ open district against Terrebonne next week, a game the Tigers have had in the backs of their minds for awhile.
:”We can’t look past Higgins,” Saltaformaggio said. “The difficult part for our guys is they’ve waited a year for Terrebonne. Last year, we remember what they did to us … but that doesn’t mean much if you slide back this week. Higgins has some talented kids, though the record might not show it.”
The team’s receivers, even down a key component in Corey Lorio, have been strong thus far, with Jerry Spencer, Troy Kendrick and Chance Tregle all making an impact in different ways.
Spencer’s small in stature but his contributions have been anything but.
“He’s so explosive,” Saltaformaggio said. “People see he’s not a bigger guy and don’t realize how he can jump, really get off the ground and go get it. He’s always had great hands. Last week he lowered his shoulder on a sweep and ran through some guys to score. I’m excited to see the kind of year he’ll have.”