LHSAA may reduce its classes from seven to five

If you want “interesting” reading for your library, the Louisiana High School Athletic Association has published 34 pages of items that will be up for a vote at its annual meeting on Jan. 27.

The proposals are not as bizarre and anti-private school in nature as they have been over the past three conventions. But the public school principals will have won over few friends from the other side.
For instance, the principals are expected to ratify the new constitutional amendment that divides “select” (non-public) and “non-select” (public) schools into separate playoff categories for basketball, baseball and softball.
As if football wasn’t bad enough.
Although districts will continue to be composed of public and non-public schools, they will go their separate ways when the playoffs begin.

One interesting proposal would eliminate classes B and C (good luck with that), reducing the number of classes from seven to five. They would be divided based on enrollment, counting from the smallest to the largest enrollments.

The two lower classes, which do not compete in football, would become Class 1A. And schools in that bottom class that do participate in football would do so in Class 2A. Someone is starting to get it that Louisiana is a small pond. But will the “little guys” go for it?

Some sensible proposals
There are a number of newbie proposals I do like.

I’m all for passage of a proposal by principals Ray Simon of Catholic-New Iberia and Mike Boyer of Teurlings Catholic that would give the LHSAA executive director the authority to place any athletic program into a higher classification or division by giving it “Elite”status.

Such schools would have to meet certain conditions, such as having won at least one class or division “state” championship in the preceding five years.

The school must also be able to enroll students from more than one standard public school attendance zone.

The executive director must visit the school in question before deciding to label the school as elite, and the executive committee must approve the executive director’s decision by a two-thirds vote. If the committee does, that school will be elevated to a higher class for the following two years, effective in 2019-20.

I’m also in favor of a proposal by two other Catholic school principals – Michelle Chaisson of E.D. White and John Cavell of Opelousas Catholic – that would not allow a school that does not participate in any one of the LHSAA-sanctioned sports to vote on legislation that pertains to that particular sport.

And, again, good luck getting that one passed.

Here’s another sensible plan that will draw the ire of the hard-headed public school heads: An amendment to the constitution that would make it necessary for a two-thirds vote of the members who are present at the annual meeting (when a quorum is present) to pass a law that amends the bylaws.

Had this been in effect in 2012, the LHSAA would most likely still have common playoffs for a true state championship.

We’ll review the other items up for vote following the holiday recess.

Have a blessed Christmas and a safe, fun-filled New Year.

Teams of the Decade II
Between 2008-2017 we watched a “Queen” and a “Turtle” emerge, and two four-time Elite team selectees to the Clarion Herald’s Elite boys’ and girls’ basketball teams.

Rakell “Queen” Spencer of Cabrini was one of the most talented guards during that era. Another was Archbishop Chapelle’s Olivia “Turtle” Grayson, who led the Chipmunks to a state Class 5A championship.

The decade was also highlighted by high-scoring Jenna Deemer, who first came on the scene as a sixth-grade starter at St. Mary’s Academy in 2004-05 before transferring to Ursuline Academy where she set the Lions’ all-time points record.

Deemer became a four-time Elite Team selection.

But the Clarion Herald selects three-time Elite teamers Grayson and St. Augustine’s Javon Felix as the Outstanding Players of the decade. Grayson went on to play for Tulane University, and Felix for the University of Texas.

Ron Brocato can be reached at rbrocato@clarionherald.org. 

Elite Boys’ Basketball Team (2007-16)

Year/Player, School 2008 – Brandon Moore, Holy Cross

2010 – Sydie London, St. Augustine

2010 – Patrick Swilling, Brother Martin

2012 – Javon Felix, St. Augustine

2012 – Deion Taylor, St. Augustine

2013 – Craig Victor, St. Augustine

2014 – Greg White-Pittman, Holy Cross

2014 – Jordan Cornish, Brother Martin

2015 – Trey LaForge, Jesuit

2016 – Caleb Daniels, St. Augustine

OUTSTANDING PLAYER – Javon Felix, St. Augustine

COACHES OF THE DECADE – Chris Jennings, Jesuit; Clifford Barthe, St. Augustine

ALSO CONSIDERED –  Russell Moore, St. Augustine (2008); Brainard Crump, De La Salle (2009); Brady Hadden, Jesuit (2010); Schane Rillieux, Bro. Martin (2010); Dominick Scelfo, Jesuit (2011);  Troy Thomas, De La Salle (2012); Mike Hess, Abp. Hannan (2012); Bryce Washington, St. Augustine (2013); Luke Kelly, De La Salle (2014); Charles Brown, St. Augustine (2015).

Elite Girls’ Basketball Team (2007-16)

Year/Player, School 2007 – Caitlin Cleveland, Mount Carmel

2008 – Breanna Turner, De La Salle

2009 – Olivia Grayson, Abp. Chapelle

2009 – Liann McCarthy, Ursuline

2010 – Jamecia Neely, Cabrini

2012 – Emani White, Abp. Chapelle

2012 – Kailyn Williams, Xavier Prep

2014 – Jenna Deemer, Ursuline

2016 – Rakell Spencer, Cabrini

2016 – Kristen Nuss, Mount Carmel

OUTSTANDING PLAYER – Olivia Grayson, Abp. Chapelle

COACH OF THE DECADE – Nancy Walsh, Cabrini

ALSO CONSIDERED – Brooke Becker, St. Charles Cath. (2009); Schyler Morton, Ursuline (2011); Michelle Bordes, Abp. Chapelle (2011); Ashley Lala, Mt. Carmel (2011); Elise Hadden, Dominican (2012); Jada Hutchinson, St. Mary’s (2012); De’Shia Dillon, De La Salle (2014); Jen Clark, Mt. Carmel (2014); Brandis White, St. Mary’s (2014); Taylor Berry, Mt. Carmel (2015); Kelsey Pinera, Cabrini (2015); Gabby Sperber, Dominican (2016).

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