LHSAA approves redistricting

Published 11:45 pm Friday, December 14, 2012



LAPLACE — The Louisiana High School Athletic Association officially approved the basic districts for the 2013-14 and 2014-15 school years this week, separating some rivals — and reuniting some others — on the prep football landscape.

East St. John, Hahnville and Destrehan are among those with a traditional rivalry that will remain together — the rest of their district will be very different next season, though not totally unfamiliar. The River Parish trio will be part of the new District 7-5A, along with Terrebonne, Thibodaux, Central Lafourche, H.L. Bourgeois and South Lafourche.

It reunites the local schools with those from the “Bayou Region”, a familiar alignment that was in place prior to 2007.

“We’re happy to go wherever they put us,” said East St. John coach Philip Banko. “We’re going with the Bayou region, where this team was before … those schools have good football coaches, with great fans and tradition. It should be a lot of fun.”

St. Charles Catholic, meanwhile, remains in Class 3A — perhaps the most altered of the five classifications after redistricting and reclassification. With the new ability to “play up”, a number of Class 2A powers took the opportunity to do so: among them John Curtis, Evangel and University, three of the four teams that reached the Class 2A semifinals last season. Those teams will join teams like Notre Dame and 3A champion Parkview Baptist, who met in the Dome this year, and the Comets, who went undefeated to win the 2011 state crown.

Curtis and St. Charles have been perennial district foes in recent years that the Comets have found themselves in Class 2A. St. Charles’ only losses in their last two-year run in 2A were to Curtis and Evangel, including a pair of losses in the state semifinals.

They will be district competitors again within District 11-3A, along with McMain, Lusher and De La Salle.

“We wanted to stay in our other district. We’ve been in it four of the last six years, with the only change now being that St. James has dropped out,” said St. Charles coach Frank Monica. “We’re in a five team district, which makes scheduling difficult because you now have a bye … ours, as it stands now, is in Week 10.

“We’re not sure why the district was split up. We seem to be the buffer team that bounces between Baton Rouge and New Orleans.”

Monica said that St. Charles missed the cutoff between Class 3A and 2A by two students.

“You can’t control some things,” said Monica. “We’ve just gotta move on.”

Riverside and St. James, meanwhile, will reconstitute their local rivalry, which was split up upon St. James’ move to Class 3A four years ago.

Neither squad will have to deal with Curtis any longer due to the Patriots’ aforementioned move; Curtis shared a Class 2A district with Riverside the last two seasons and both RA and SJH in years prior.

The new District 9-2A will be Riverside, St. James, Newman, Carver, Sophie B. Wright, Cohen, Fisher, Haynes and South Plaquemines.

The name of West St. John’s district will change from 9-1A to 8-1A next season, but that will be the lone difference. The Rams will continue to share a district with White Castle, St. John-Plaquemine, Ascension Christian, Ascension Catholic and East Iberville.

West St. John has won that district in each of the past two seasons.

Lutcher will also see a slew of familiar faces in District 6-4A, albeit fewer of them. Lutcher’s district foes will be Plaquemine, St. Michael, Tara and Belaire once again. Istrouma and Broadmoor will drop from the district slate.