Retooling Tigers soccer gearing for bright future

In the midst of a rebuilding season, a postseason berth may not be in the cards for the Hahnville boys soccer team, but there are signs that a foundation for success is being set into place under first-year Hahnville coach Matt Oubre.

The Tigers are 2-9-5 in a season that’s seen them install a new system, and while there has been a learning curve, Oubre sees a group of players making improvement by leaps and bounds as the season goes on.

“We set out this season to install a new system of play and change the soccer culture at Hahnville to be competitive at a high level throughout our season,” Oubre said. “We’ve learned from our matches and have progressively gotten better. Our guys work hard and are becoming smart players. They’re doing everything being asked of them and are trying to be creative on the field. I don’t feel our record is indicative of our play.”

Seniors and team captains Griffin Joliboix and Logan McDonald have been key figures for the Tigers both on and off the field. Oubre said each player has been willing to shift positions to lend their skills wherever the team needs for a particular matchup or stretch of matches, and he called their leadership invaluable.

“Since the beginning of summer training, they’ve displayed that senior leadership,” he said. “They’ve been helping guys get better and understanding the game.”

The team’s younger players appear to be taking the advice of their upperclassmen teammates to heart. Sophomore Paxton Manieri has been one of the team’s brightest spots — Oubre said he has been a huge defensive factor in the middle of the field. Meanwhile, the coach noted freshman Aidan Ramsey as someone who has shown savvy beyond his years.

The five tie games, Oubre believes, signal good things to come, as a few of those matches came against strong competition. The Tigers have also battled hard and shown toughness against a traditionally strong district slate, facing opponents like St. Amant, East Ascension and Dutchtown in addition to archrival Destrehan.

“Of course, our tied games could have easily been wins for us as well as a few losses, but that’s how things go in soccer,” Oubre said. “We look forward to finishing out the season with continued strong play and picking up a few wins.”

The Tigers will host Destrehan Tuesday, scheduled for 7:30 p.m., in the district finale for both teams. Hahnville will wrap up its season next Friday night at St. Martin’s in a non-district contest (start time of 7 p.m.).

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