According to AHS Larry Breaux, his team has a chance to succeed with bigger numbers and a new, upbeat attitude.
“You always lose a few kids during the summer for whatever reasons,” he said. “As far as the kids that played last year, it doesn’t look like we’ll lose any of them.
“We’ve picked up a couple of kids who have just moved to Abbeville.”
Breaux said he expects to have approximately 65 players on the roster this season.
“That’s about where you want to be in 3A,” he said. “The numbers aspect of the program has grown each year and I expect that is going to continue... Last year we had five seniors; this year we’ll have 10-15.”
Breaux said the focus this summer has been on getting stronger and faster.
“The only work we’ve done so far has been conditioning,” said Breaux, stating that he even allowed his players to choose what time they would meet for summer workouts.
To his surprise, he said, they voted for a 6:30 a.m. start time.
“That really worried me,” he said. “That would’ve been the time I would pick... With teenagers in the summer I thought there was no way we would have good attendance at 6:30. I thought they’d be sleeping late and lazy. But that hasn’t been the case. We’ve had just as good of attendance as in years past.
“They’ve really impressed me.”
Next week, the players get a well-earned week off, as there is a state-wide coaches’ clinic in Baton Rouge. The following week, Breaux said, preparations for the upcoming season begin in earnest.
The team will begin following up its morning workouts with passing drills after next week’s layoff, then easing into running and passing game workouts the following week.
Those workouts will be helmet only until August 6 when the LHSAA allows full-pad practices to begin.
Also, AHS quarterback Ross Duhon is attending the Manning Passing Academy this weekend in Thibodaux for the second-straight year. Breaux said he feels that instruction can only help his senior QB.
“When your quarterback can go to a camp put on by some of the best quarterbacks in the country (it helps),” said Breaux. “It’s just like the coaching profession. When we go to clinics and in-services it makes us better coaches and when players go to camps it makes them better players.
“If you’re making your players better, you’re making your team better.”
The Wildcats will get the chance to show what improvement they’ve made when they open the season hosting 3A Iowa on Friday, August 31 at Wildcat Stadium.