Football may be considered the gauge by which success in athletics is measured, but even though the LHSAA made it easier for schools to win “state” titles in this sport by separating public schools from their private and parochial counterparts, the local Catholic schools still fell short.
Nevertheless, seven schools from the Archdiocese of New Orleans did add championship trophies to their collections. Four were multiple title holders.
Mount Carmel led the way with three by prevailing in the sports of volleyball, soccer and softball.
St. Paul’s, De La Salle and Pope John Paul II won two state events, and Holy Cross (wrestling) and St. Scholastica (bowling) were also state champions.
When they weren’t winning first place hardware, the local Catholic schools received runners-up awards in 10 sports.
Led by the tournament’s Division I MVP, Ellie Holzman, Mount Carmel defeated St. Joseph’s Academy in a best-of-five match, 3-2, after winning 10 consecutive games in the playoffs.
But the most dominant team may have been Division IV champion Pope John Paul II. The Lady Jaguars won their third consecutive title and second straight over district mate Archbishop Hannan, 3 games to 1. They, too, won 10 consecutive games before losing one in the finals.
Senior Eric Coston paced St. Paul’s effort in winning the Division I team title when he covered the three-mile course in 15:19.41. The Wolves also finished sixth and seventh to score 62 points in a race that included a mammoth field of 171 runners.
Holy Cross won its 28th state championship and first since 2013 by outscoring the Division I field.
Senior Jake Rando, one of five Tigers to win individual titles, was named the meet’s Outstanding Wrestler.
Past champions Jesuit, Brother Martin and St. Paul’s followed, in order.
De La Salle scored 252 points to end Brusly’s dominance of Division III for the second straight year.
Unlike 2016 when they won the team title without having a single individual champion, the Cavaliers won three weight class events.
De La Salle also won its first championship in this sport in 31 years by soundly defeating the No. 1 seed, University Lab, 82-69.
Brother Martin lost the Division I title to Scotlandville,
53-52, after advancing to the final round as the No. 6 seed.
St. Paul’s made it four straight championships by defeating Catholic High, 5-1. The win was the Wolves’ second in a finals match over the Bears.
Mount Carmel won the Division I championship for the second consecutive year by edging Fontainebleau, 2-1.
The Lady Bulldogs had upset the No. 1 seed and 2015 champion, St. Scholastica, in the semifinal round, while the No. 3 seeded Cubs had rolled past East Ascension, Dominican and Byrd.
Mount Carmel hadn’t placed a softball trophy among its souvenirs since 2008, but picked one up in a demonstrative way at the Sulphur tournament when it routed all three playoff opponents by the combined score of 42-5. The Cubs capped it off in the title game with a 15-0 victory over Dominican in less than four innings
Pope John Paul II won its ninth Division IV powerlifting title since 2002.
The Jaguars had five individual champions, including 181-pound Dylan Vidrine, whose combined lifts totaled 1,370 pounds.
No. 1 seed St. Scholastica won the girls’ state bowling tournament by edging Morgan City, 14-13, in the April tournament held in Baton Rouge.
And Jesuit’s golf team fired a two-round total of 593 to beat Catholic High for the boys’ Division I golf championship by eight strokes.
Ron Brocato can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.