Giambelluca will make another appeal to play up

      I like Mike Giambelluca’s spunk and determination.
     As he has done throughout the years of recovery during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the Jesuit principal will again solicit support from his public and non-public school cohorts to allow schools to play above their classifications.
    His most current appeal has one new twist. Giambelluca hopes a plan to let schools play just one class above their classification mandated by enrollment numbers will pass muster.
    Through the last three annual general assemblies of the LHSAA Giambelluca has been proactive in a two-fold quest to get the Catholic League back together and to allow other schools to have the ability to compete in districts with schools in close proximity but  which may not be in the same enrollment class.
    His letter to several blocks of 30 principals explains that he is again attempting to garner as much support from the public school principals as he can to either co-author or vote favorably to pass his proposal.
  “Getting a half dozen public school principals or more from around the state to sign-off on it should be enough to push it over the top,” he wrote. “ I do believe that the modified proposal itself should be enough anyway.  We’ll see.”
     Continuing, “If you would like to co-author it as well, please let me know. I don’t want it to be heavily weighted to the Catholic schools in our area, for the obvious reasons, but it might not hurt to get a couple more Catholic schools on it.”
    Since 2004, public school principals, who are in the vast majority of LHSAA members, have refused to allow schools to compete in districts above their class. But for the past two votes on the question of playing up, more and more principals have softened their stance.
    Giambelluca hopes to gain the support he needs to make his proposal effective beginning in the fall of 2012-13 when LHSAA schools reclassify  for athletic purposes. 
    “The new proposal which will be submitted in the next day or so for vote at this January’s business meeting will allow for schools to play-up in classification only one classification higher.  I believe this to be a much more palpable proposal for those principals who had issues with the previous proposal allowing for schools to play-up as high as a school desired,” Giambelluca said.
     This modified proposal will address the situations that make the most sense; namely, schools whose enrollments have fallen and/or those schools who want to play-up for travel purposes. 
    “Some schools find themselves in a lower classification because their enrollment dropped for a time, and this drop in enrollment prevents them from competing against schools they traditionally compete in the classification one classification higher. Also, some schools would prefer to play-up one class to allow them the opportunities to compete against schools in their area as opposed to traveling sometimes an hour or more away each way in the classification dictated by their enrollment numbers.”
    Hopefully, enough public principals will make a New Year resolution to end their arrogance against their non-public counterparts.
    Ron Brocato can be reached at

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