St. Charles Parish has long starved for the return of football. And indeed, it’s that time of year.
Those looking for a preview of what the parish’s high school football landscape will look like in 2019 have their chance at 5:30 p.m. Thursday., as both Hahnville and Destrehan will host their respective preseason scrimmages. Hahnville will square off against Northshore, while Destrehan locks up with Salmen.
The Wildcats are coming off a 13-1 season, their lone loss coming in the Class 5A semifinals against Zachary.
With heavy turnover to both its offensive and defensive lineup, Thursday represents a chance to see how the Wildcats come together.
Meanwhile, for Hahnville, 2018 saw a 6-6 record and a season of distraction that the Tigers look to quickly put behind them, though it wasn’t without success — HHS scored a road playoff win at Walker to open the ’18 postseason before also bowing out to Zachary. Hahnville brings back the majority of its key players from a season ago.
What to watch at Destrehan:
*QB Damarius Jackson is a senior and first year starter, and he brings a unique element to the quarterback position for a DHS team that’s relied on pocket passers for many seasons. The 5’9 Jackson extends plays and is a threat to do great damage with his legs. He played well in the team’s spring game, and this is his next test.
*Quincy Brown. The Mississippi State commitment is an often-spectacular vertical receiver who demands extra coverage. After announcing he’s Mississippi State bound, he may well celebrate with a touchdown – or more.
*A relentless defensive line. The Wildcats are very, very fast up front, with a former middle linebacker – Noah Taliancich—and former quarterback—Michael Jackson—at defensive tackle and end, respectively. That’s what defensive coordinator Malter Scobel’s scheme thrives on, and it could be interesting to see how Salmen handles that pressure.
What to watch at Hahnville:
*Andrew Naquin had the kind of up and down season one might expect of a sophomore thrust into the starting quarterback position in Class 5A, but improved as the season went on. Hahnville coaches have noted great progress, and if Naquin takes a big step, it seems likely the Tigers will do just that as well.
*Offensive coordinator Daniel Luquet’s new offense. Luquet joins the Hahnville staff this season and will have this team operating with a very new look via his spread offensive attack. There’s little doubt the Tigers will remain run heavy under head coach Nick Saltaformaggio, but Luquet is a creative offensive mind with a strong track record, and the Tigers’ backfield should have a chance to have great success, led by running back Darryle Evans.
*Stopping the big play. Hahnville’s front 7 should rival just about any in the state, with size, toughness and athleticism across the board. Saltaformaggio has noted since the spring that if Hahnville is to reach its goals, the defensive backfield must step up to the challenge. There’s talent there, led by cornerback Syre Lewis, and if this unit has a big day here, it could bode very well for the season ahead.