With so much uncertainty surrounding high school sports these days, people would be wise to heed Shamarr Moses’ perspective on the restrictions in place due to the coronavirus.
“Everyone goes through things,” Moses said. “We’re not the only school that happened to but we’re Hahnville – that’s what makes us different. We will move forward and will progress regardless of what happened in the past.”
The senior linebacker and the rest of his Hahnville teammates were on the practice field Monday afternoon for the start of fall football practice. It was the first time the Tigers were able to put on helmets since last season.
“It definitely makes us feel like we are moving in the right direction. A couple of months ago, we didn’t think we’d have a chance, but now, seeing that we have the helmets on, we’ve got more and more motivation to be able to get better with our teammates,” said Corey Lorio, a senior receiver.
It’s amazing just what a helmet can do for a football player.
“As we were handing out helmets last week, a lot of the kids could kind of feel it,” Hahnville coach Daniel Luquet said. “Just talking to parents throughout the weekend, it kind of gives (the players) a sense of, ‘hey, maybe we will have some normalcy.’
“We were supposed to be having helmets on all summer. The first time to actually be able to do that, they are excited. They already are asking when the pads will come on. I keep telling them, ‘hold on.’ When you put the helmets on and you strap it up and get between the white lines, there’s nothing like this sport, there’s nothing like football.”
There’s also been nothing like the past few months. Because of restrictive measures in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, no teams were able to participate in spring practice. That allowed “fall practice” to start a week early.
The early start comes with ongoing restrictions.
“We’re still trying to maintain our 25-person groups. We will be offense on one side of the field for the entire practice and the defense on the other side of the field. We’ve broken the defense into two groups of less than 25. We broke the offense into two groups of less than 25,” Luquet explained.
The pads, Luquet said, are likely to come a bit later, like after Gov. John Bel Edwards makes his latest edict this week concerning what phase the state will be in moving forward in the COVID-19 battle.
“I would like to get it done by maybe the end of next week,” Luquet said. “That may just look like putting them on at the end of practice and just conditioning in our helmets and pads. That’s the biggest thing, when you add weight to a football player and you ask them to go out and play sports, we can run all day in shorts and t-shirts, but when you put your equipment on, it’s a little bit different. That adds more to wiping things down and disinfecting and we want to make sure we have a good plan before we do that. We’re hoping sometime at the end of next week.”
Monday marked Luquet’s first fall practice as Hahnville’s head coach after serving last season as offensive coordinator.
“As excited as I was the day they gave me the job, it’s like Christmas Day. You don’t get an opportunity (often) to coach a program like this. There is only one Hahnville High School in the state of Louisiana and I’m lucky enough to be the guy who gets to run that program for a long time,” Luquet said.