From the Sidelines

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 10, 1999

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / November 10, 1999

Welcome to the game show, “The Road to the Dome.”Our contestants today are the Destrehan Wildcats, East St. John Wildcats,Lutcher Bulldogs, St. James Wildcats, Riverside Rebels and West St. JohnRams.

Each of our contestants has taken a different route to be a part of our show. Destrehan and Lutcher are distinguished guests as districtchampions. East St. John, Riverside and St. James placed second in theirrespective districts.

But whatever route they took, each has been among the best in their classes. All are in the top 15 in power points and will host playoff gamesthis week. Each has bounced back from difficult losses to make it to thesecond season.

The purpose of our game is to do the one thing all coaches hate to do – look ahead. Forget one game at a time, here’s a chance to play “what if?”Our first contestant is Destrehan, the District 7-5A champions, which opens the playoffs Friday at home against Holy Cross. A victory there andit appears the 13th-seeded Wildcats will be facing another Catholic League school in fourth-seeded Shaw in the regionals. The road doesn’t getany easier in the quarterfinals where either fifth-seeded St. Amant oralways dangerous 12th-rated Ruston. And in the semifinals, there is thematter of a school named West Monroe.

Our next contestant is also from District 7-5A, East St. John. The 11th-rated Wildcats open the playoffs against South Lafourche. If that matchupsounds familiar, it’s because it is with East St. John defeating the Tarponslast Friday to clinch second place in the district. From there, it’s onto aregional matchup with either sixth-seeded Catholic (which should be undefeated if not for two forfeited victories earlier in the season) or 27th-seeded Ponchatoula which has already played Destrehan and Hahnville this season.

In the quarterfinals lurks Rummel, the third seed. Manage to survive thejourney so far and in lying in wait in the semifinals is a program known to River Parishes fans – Evangel.

District 9-3A champion Lutcher is our highest-rated contestant at No. 2 inClass 3A. The Bulldogs open against Buckeye, a team coming off its firstdistrict championship in its 36-year program. Win there and next up iseither 15th-seeded Teurlings or 18th-seeded Brusly. In the quarterfinalsis a possible matchup with either seventh-seeded Cecilia or 10th-seeded Redemptorist. And the semifinals could be a 2-3 showdown with Jennings.On the other side of the bracket is the Bulldogs’ cross-parish rival St.

James, the fourth seed. The Wildcats get Church Point in the first round.Win and the Wildcats face either district rival E.D. White or a commonplayoff opponent in recent years, Breaux Bridge. The quarterfinals couldcome against fifth-seeded Benton. Continue on and that old nemesis,Amite, awaits in the semifinals.

Our next two contestants are quite familiar with each other. Seventh-seeded Riverside and 10th-seeded West St. John are placed in the samehalf of the bracket. Riverside hosts Jonesboro-Hodge while West St. Johnhosts a very dangerous St. Helena team in the bi-district. A win by bothand they face off in the regionals. Doesn’t it seem just like yesterday thatthey were meeting for the Class 2A championship? Whoever comes out unscathed will not have it easy with second-rated Many waiting in the quarterfinals. And in the semifinals could wait eitherthird-seeded Coushatta or sixth-seeded Iota.

So those are our contestants as our game starts. Who will be left standingwhen the final gong rings?

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