Two football all stars sit out

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 16, 2002


BATON ROUGE – Two of the seven River Parish players selected for the Louisiana High School Athletic Association 2003 All-Star football game will not take the field on July 26.

Lutcher linebacker Lawrence Williams and St. James running back Michael Harry were chosen to play for the East and West teams, but the high school seniors will only have to opportunity to watch.

LHSAA Assistant Commissioner Mac Chauvin explained that five other players in football, volleyball and basketball, from across the state, decided not to participate in the All-Star events. He did not give an explanation as to why any of the players left the teams, or why Harry will not play for the West team.

Chauvin did say Williams was replaced because he did not graduate from high school before a specific time.

A panel of coaches from across the state selected 35 players for each of the East and West teams, including the seven River Parish players. As part of the deal, the LHSAA then required all players to sign contracts stating they each agree to the rules and regulations involved with competing in the game, as well as turn in medical forms by May 24.

Of the rules stated, the players have to be graduating seniors. Williams is currently taking a summer class to gain his half credit needed to graduate.

“He wants to play and we want him to play, but a rule’s a rule,” said Lutcher High School Athletic Director Tim Detillier.

“I’m disappointed he won’t be in the game, but it’s been a rule for as long as I can remember,” he continued.

Although Williams will not represent Lutcher on the West team for the All-Star game, offensive lineman Joey Zimmer will be on the field to represent the Bulldogs on the All-Star East squad.

“It would be nice to have one of our guys on each side of the ball,” admitted Detillier. He said Lutcher has been fortunate to consistently have one player in the game for the past few years.

“But he (Williams) understands. He is going to concentrate on getting through his summer class,” said Detillier. He added that before all is said and done, other coaches will know who he is, despite not seeing him perform in the All-Star game.

Among the five River Parish players on the field, Zimmer will play for the East team, alongside St. Charles Catholic High School’s Justin Kinchens at offensive tackle. Hahnville High School’s Nickolas Cannon and Ryan Keys will work with West St. John High School’s Lionel Howard on the West team.

Mark Stewart, of Destrehan High School, will be the lone player from the area to participate in the All-Star basketball team for the East squad.

The LHSAA All-Star events begin with girls volleyball at 7 p.m. on July 24 in LSU’s Maravich Assembly Center. Girls and boys basketball All-Star games are scheduled for 6 and 8 p.m. on July 25, also at the Maravich Assembly Center. The All-Star football game will kick off at 6:30 p.m. at LSU’s Tiger Stadium.