Hammond off to promising start under third-year head coach Dorsett Buckels
BOURG, La. (WVUE) - After two seasons of COVID-19 interruptions, Hammond High football (2-0) is seeing the positive results they were hoping for when they originally hired former LSU linebacker Dorsett Buckels to take the reigns as head coach. Ahead of a matchup with South Terrebonne on Friday (Sept. 16), the Tornados are looking to forge a 3-0 win streak.
“We just focus on keeping ourselves under control,” Buckels said. “We hold ourselves to a 24-hour rule after every game where once it’s over, we become focused on the next one up.”
A week ago, the Tors earned a convincing home win over Riverdale 42-0. In that game, Hammond had a monster night on the ground with Senior Tyrese Wilson leading all rushers with 147 yards and 2 touchdowns on 15 carries. Senior Jahiem Johnson had 94 yards rushing and Junior Eli Johnson had 83 and two touchdowns.
Friday’s game is the last non-district Hammond has before entering District 6-5A. Buckels says they’ll prepare for those games the same way they prepare for each week. As much of a gauntlet the district is with the likes of Ponchatoula, St. Paul’s, and Covington, Buckels says that his team has already put themselves in a position to be a leader in the 8-team membered division.
As a program that has struggled for much of the last decade, they made a statement with a 33-19 week 1 win over reigning 2A champion Amite. As locals in Tangipahoa Parish know, sometimes games for bragging rights in the area are circled by fans more than district or postseason games. To get a win over a program that’s reached a championship multiple times recently and produced players like Devonta Smith (Philadelphia Eagles) and Tyrus Wheat (Miss. St.), is a message saying that Hammond is ready to return to the mix.
Buckels knows all about those local rivalries. He was the first player signed in LSU’s Nick Saban era as a recruit out of Amite.
“That first win changed the morale around here,” Buckels said. “It made us more motivated and more hungry. One thing we preach here is to not be content and to be the hunter and not the hunted.”
Buckels also said that as positive as the first two weeks have been, the Tors still have a lot of work to do.
“We’ve been studying our mistakes and know we have to clean them up,” Buckels said. “We will do what we need to do and get to the district and focus all over again.”
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