Prelim districts released

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 2, 2009


Sports Editor

The long awaited reclassification and redistricting process for the state’s prep sports landscape began on Thursday, as the Louisiana High School Athletic Association released its preliminary plan.

As it stands, three River Parish teams would be making a jump or a drop in classification.

St. Charles Catholic, which has spent the last two years as a Class 3A school, will drop back to Class 2A for the next two school years.

St. James and Lutcher, meanwhile, will each move up one classification. Lutcher will move from Class 3A to 4A, and St. James jump up from Class 2A to Class 3A.

Meanwhile, East St. John, Destrehan and Hahnville would remain in the same district under this plan, despite speculation that the teams would be split up. In fact, the current District 5-5A remains completely intact under the preliminary plan.

East St. John athletic director and football coach Larry Dauterive was pleased that the current district will remain intact.

“There are some great built in rivalries in this district,” said Dauterive. “It’s a no brainer for us. I like the competition, and the closeness of all the teams.

“We were prepared to play Hahnville and Destrehan regardless of districting, no matter what. We’ve got to play them. Those are the money games.”

Also pleased was St. James football coach Rick Gaille.

“We were very much in favor of going up to Class 3A,” he said. “Aside from the last four years, that’s where we’ve traditionally been.”

Gaille said that moving out of such a top heavy classification in 2A would be an attractive proposition.

“Overall, Class 3A has much better depth in terms of teams that can contend. But in 2A, it’s a huge disadvantage when you’re paired with teams like Curtis, Evangel and Calvary Baptist. You know where you have to go through to win the championship.”

St. Charles, meanwhile, just missed the 3A cutoff and will be moving back to 2A.

“Well, nothing’s official yet,” said St. Charles athletic director and football coach Frank Monica. “But we’re not completely happy with it. We wanted to stay in 3A.”

Under the plan, area districts would be set up as follows:

East St. John, Destrehan, Hahnville, St. Amant, Dutchtown and East Ascension remain in District 5-5A.

St. Charles effectively moves back into its old district, with few differences. It is grouped with Riverside, John Curtis, Newman, Fisher, Lusher, McGehee, and Douglass in District 9-2A.

West St. John remains grouped with Ascension Catholic, East Iberville, North Iberville, and White Castle. However, Ascension Christian and St. John-Plaquemine will be new additions in the new District 8-1A.

Lutcher joins District 7-4A, along with Belle Chasse, Helen Cox, Ellender, Morgan City, and Vandebilt.

Finally, St. James will be part of District 8-3A with Brusly, Livonia, Plaquemine, and Port Allen.

Nothing is finalized yet. A second reclassification meeting is scheduled for March 12, and a third on March 26.

While Monica believes the details will be mostly ironed out in the second meeting, he says the uncertainty of things is adversely affecting football scheduling matters.

“Right now, we’ve got seven teams in our district. Some schools may not play football. We could also have another team or two added in. And with an odd number of teams, we’ve got an potential open date to address (during district play).

“A lot of people have verbally committed to scheduled games already. But everything’s so uncertain right now.”