Terrebonne aims to be more physical this season
Fri. August 24, 2012 at 12:10 p.m. | By Kelly McElroy/Staff Writer
Senior defensive lineman Jeremiah Thomas (5), senior offensive lineman Jacob Fournier (50) and senior defensive lineman William Moses (50) are key players for the Terrebonne Tigers this season. (Photo by Kelly McElroy/Staff)
The goal of the Terrebonne Tigers this season will be to beat teams at the point of attack.
With some younger and more inexperienced players at their skill positions, the Tigers return a number of starters along their offensive and defensive lines, and Terrebonne will strive to play a more physical style in 2012.
"We think if we are a physical football team, we can have a successful season," sixth-year Tigers head coach Gary Hill said. "We need to improve there. We have a ways to go. I think the kids know it, and I think the kids want to get to that point."
Hill said after the Tigers, who have 14 seniors this year, went 5-5 last season (3-3 in District 7-5A) and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2007, the returning players became more dedicated in their attempt to return to the playoffs this season.
"The summer commitment was really good," Hill said. "I think after the success we had and not reaching the playoffs last year, it kind of woke them up a little bit. They know they have to work at it now."
The players too have noticed a renewed commitment from one another.
"We have a had a lot of guys showing up for practice, more than the past couple of years, and it has been more serious — less fun and games," senior offensive lineman Jacob Fournier said. "That will make it better come game-time for us. We are going to be physical. We have a lot of experience on the o-line and d-line. We are big and have been working hard in the weight room. We have more physicality."
Senior defensive lineman Jeremiah Thomas said competition has been intense in Terrebonne's camp so far.
"We have been going at each other," Thomas said. "That is what we want, but when we get on the field, we are fighting the same battle. We are just ready to get back on the gridiron. It's all business this year. We really want to focus on football and not all the fooling around. We want to focus on the task at hand and focus on making the playoffs. We have been coming together as a team and bonding and developing chemistry with each other. That should take us far this season."
Junior Colby Stewart is the new quarterback for the Tigers and will guide their spread offense, which returns five starters but must replace its top passer (Kendrick Boudreaux), rusher (Robert Gordon) and receiver (Justin Williams) from last season.
Hill also said senior running back DeShaun Diggs, who was a top player in the area as a sophomore and sat out his junior season, will be a part of Terrebonne's team this year.
"Offensively, we are going to try and not make as many mistakes as we did last year, and hopefully our young guys will do a good job of holding onto the football, and we can sustain drives and play smart," Hill said. "We want to keep our defense, which should be our strong point, off the field and let them take care of some business for us."
Thomas and fellow senior defensive lineman William Moses will lead Terrebonne's defense, which also returns five starters but must replace the team's leading tackler from last season (Cody Peeler).
"Having those two up front helps us out tremendously," Hill said. "They do a good job with leadership. They come with a business-type attitude. Both realize what is at stake being they are seniors. I think those two, along with our only senior lineman Jacob Fournier, realize this is their last chance to play high school football, and they want to get the most out of it as they possibly can."
Moses said the Tigers are putting in the time and effort it takes to make it back to the postseason.
"We are looking forward to having a good season, and we are working hard every day to be the best," Moses said. "We are putting in the work. We are hungry. We want to go farther than we did last year. We are hungry. We are ready to eat."