WLAE begins production of ‘Glory Days III’

The management of WLAE television last week announced that Part III of their award-winning documentary, “Glory Days: The Catholic League of New Orleans,” is in production with a target air date of December.

Parts I and II of the series, which covered the creation of the storied high school football league in 1955 through 1977, were televised in 2010 and 2014, respectively.

Part III continues the story  of the six remaining schools:  Brother Martin, Jesuit, Holy Cross, St. Augustine, Archbishop Rummel and Archbishop Shaw.

Among the events of the league’s past three decades is the 1978 state  championship game between St. Augustine and Jesuit, which drew a Superdome crowd of 42,000. St. Augustine won that game, 13-7, for its second of three titles, but more importantly, the Louisiana High School Athletic Association was encouraged enough to move all of its championship games to the Dome three years later.

The 1980s are highlighted by the final years of coaching legend, Brother Martin’s Bob Conlin, and his 1989 team that played for the state title.

During the next two decade, Archbishops Shaw and Rummel became Catholic League dynasties.

Of course, the years following Hurricane Katrina in 2005 saw the league torn apart by the loss of Holy Cross, St. Augustine and Shaw, whose decreased enrollments forced the LHSAA to move the three, now with a smaller footprint, out of the league.

The Catholic League was reduced to five teams in 2006 when Commissioner Tommy Henry moved West Jefferson and Chalmette into the district to join Jesuit, Rummel and Brother Martin.

Through those tragic years and subsequent recovery, Jesuit and Holy Cross maintained their annual rivalry, which dates back to 1922. 

Holy Cross lost its lower Ninth Ward home, but built a modern campus in Gentilly.

During the recovery, five Catholic League schools experienced 16 coaching changes. Rummel maintained its only coach, Jay Roth, who led the Raiders to football championships in 2012 and 2013.

Glory Days III culminates with Jesuit defeating John Curtis, 17-14, for the 2014 Division I championship – the school’s eighth overall but first in 54 years. 

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