After the Hahnville Tigers started off their football season 0-4, head coach Lou Valdin said he had never had a worse start in his 33 years as a coach. Then he switched senior Sergio Medina from middle linebacker to running back and the team won their next six games in a row, going undefeated in district play and making it to the second round of the Class 5A state playoffs.
For his performance, Medina won the All-District Offensive Most Valuable Player award.
“There’s no question that the move we made with Sergio is the move that won the district for us,” Valdin said. “A guy that rushed for 1,000 yards and 15 touchdowns in seven games is pretty special. Statistics wise he is as good as any we’ve ever had here.”
Medina’s best performance on the year was against Destrehan, when he rushed for 240 yards and four touchdowns in a 47-44 overtime win.
Medina said he brought the same spirit to running back as he had as linebacker and that making the transition was not that difficult for him.
“Running back is fun. It is exciting to run and make plays. Defense is also fun because you have to work extra hard to make plays,” Medina said. “I enjoy playing both positions.”
Medina, who had started the previous two years at linebacker, was already being recruited by NCAA Division I schools as a defensive player when he made the switch to running back.
“On his part it was an unselfish move because he was being recruited as a defensive player,” Valdin said. “To leave the position you are being recruited at to go help the team was a very unselfish move.”
Medina said his owes a lot of his success to the other offensive players surrounding him.
“They just did an excellent job, it just helped me out. Surrounding me with a good offensive line, good quarterback and receivers and such,” Medina said.
Currently, the University of North Texas and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette are recruiting Medina to play linebacker, but McNeese State is interested in his skills at running back.
He said, as of now, he is unsure what football program he will commit to.
“It all depends on whatever school offers the best position for me,” he said. “Either position will be fine for me as long as I get another chance to play.”