By Ron Brocato, Clarion Herald Sports
During the reclassification process that takes place every two years for schools in the Louisiana High School Athletic Association, schools moving up or down in class and changing districts is not an unusual outcome.
But the 2019-20 school year has 45 high schools changing districts, 14 of which are from the Greater New Orleans area.
St. Charles Catholic is among three new members of District 11-2A and one of just five that field football teams in the 10-school district.
Cohen College Prep and Morris Jeff Community School, which does not have a football program, are the other new district members.
St. Charles’ football opponents will be Cohen, Fisher, Newman and South Plaquemines.
The district also includes St. Katharine Drexel Prep, St. Mary’s Academy and Louise McGehee as its all-girls members, and Einstein Charter, a coed school that does not have a football program.
Three local Catholic schools – De La Salle, Academy of the Sacred Heart and Ursuline – have a new member in District 11-3A.
Kenner Discovery, located on Vintage Drive, will field its first football team (known as the Swamp Owls) when it joins De La Salle, Haynes Academy and Thomas Jefferson.
Another coed school, Patrick Taylor, will compete in the district in every sport but football.
Former Class 5A powerhouse Landry-Walker moves out of the eight-team Jefferson Parish district of 8-5A and into District 10-4A.
Dropping down in class will test the school’s athletic programs against three-time state football champion Edna Karr, Belle Chasse, Helen Cox, Academy of Our Lady and New Orleans Military and Maritime Academy (a non-football school).
The Academy of Our Lady is the only Catholic school for girls in the district made up of schools located on the West Bank of New Orleans.
Cabrini’s district, 11-4A, has two new members in Lusher Charter, which moves up from Class 3A, and Livingston Collegiate Academy, located on Dwyer Road in New Orleans East.
The two new members will join district mainstays Warren Easton, Carver, John F. Kennedy, Ben Franklin and McMain as coed schools.
Ben Franklin and Livingston will not compete for district championship honors in football.
The Catholic League (District 9-5A) remains intact. To do so, six of its 10 members declared they will continue to play up in class.
They are Archbishops Rummel (525 enrollment), Chapelle (449) and Shaw (394), Holy Cross (517), St. Augustine (512) and John Curtis (390), according to LHSAA enrollment figures.
Jesuit, Brother Martin, Dominican and Mount Carmel are the only members with 5A enrollments.
Other district revisions affecting schools in the New Orleans area include the following:
Riverdale moves into District 8-5A to replace Landry-Walker.
Booker T. Washington, now a KIPP school, will field its first football team in 15 years and compete in District 10-3A against McDonogh 35, Sci Academy (located on the former Abramson campus)and Frederick A. Douglass, a school previously known as KIPP Renaissance and housed in what was originally Francis T. Nicholls.
The district also includes International High School of New Orleans and M.L. King Charter, which will compete in all major sports but football.
Country Day and Riverside Academy are once again Class 1A schools and a member of District 9-1A.
The seven-school district also includes St. Martin’s, West St. John, Ecole Classique, Ridgewood and Crescent City, which was elevated from Class C.
In another notable move, Evangel, whose student enrollment is 270, is a new member in District 1-4A. A multiple state champion in football and baseball, Evangel drops down from Class 5A.
Ron Brocato can be reached at email@example.com.