Gridiron practices grind toward season

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 27, 2002


Sometimes, the heat of August can make people feel uneasy. Often enough they are brought to the hospital for medical treatment.

However, for the Riverside Academy football team, the heat is something to be mindful of, rather than worried about.

“We’ve got a few guys who are a little bit over weight who have had little or no problems with the heat. Credit for that goes to our terrific off-season workout,” said head coach Mickey Roussel.

The only heat Roussel would like to see this season is the heat his defense will put on opposing quarterbacks. At Tuesday’s practice, the Rebels worked on running the ball, quarterback option plays, and short-yardage situations.

“I think in practice we need to throw the ball better because we are going to run a lot this season,” Roussel said.

Most of the snaps in practice were done by starting quarterback Scott Poirrier. Roussel is hoping Poirrier picks up where he finished last season.

“I think Scott is a good quarterback. If he has a good year, then we will have a good year,” Roussel said.

This is not to say Riverside will solely depend on the arm of Poirrier to help them get through the season.

“The nucleus and chemistry of this football team is excellent right now,” continued Roussel.

In St. Charles Parish, the heat did not seem to alter the practice performance of the Destrehan High School Fighting Wildcats.

“I think that we have been fortunate with the weather. The rain we have had has kept the temperatures down a little,” said head coach Stephen Robicheaux. “We have got water stations throughout the field. The guys can take a break whenever they want it.”

Working in shoulder pads and shorts, DHS is trying to get the basics down in practice.

“We’ve been working hard on our technique lately. I think we have been concentrating on the fundamental work,” the third-year coach said.

With only two returning starters, junior quarterback Demarko Hutchinson will likely be a key figure running the Fighting Wildcat offense.

“I’m interested to see how he (Hutchinson) is going to perform this year. He is untested and inexperienced,” Robicheaux said.

When asked if there is any major concerns heading into the first game against Douglass High School, Robicheaux laughed and said “none, but that could change after our scrimmage Friday.”

It may be tough for the Fighting Wildcats to overpower the opposing team’s defensive front. The defending district champions have only four players on the offensive line weighing more than 200 pounds.

“I realize that we don’t have that much size up front. We just have to do what we need to do and it’ll work itself out,” said Robicheaux.