LHSAA moves to split major sports
By Chris & Laurie Mueller
The Louisiana High School Athletic Association voted this week to extend the split of select and non-select divisions to include baseball, basketball, and softball.
The split has been in effect for the past three years in football with four select and five non-select state championships being named. Principals voted 182 to 120 in favor of the split. There will be twelve champions each in boys and girls basketball, baseball, and softball.
The new rule goes into effect July 1.
Many Principal Norman Booker proposed the split. He and many others believe private and charter, or select schools, have an unfair advantage with recruiting student athletes. LHSAA Executive Director Eddie Bonin was against the split and pleaded with principals to wait a few weeks to come up with a different plan.
The decision to propose a split started gaining momentum several years back when super powers John Curtis and Evangel were forced to play in their correct classifications based on population of the schools. They had been allowed to play up in 4-A or 5-A but the big schools got tired of losing to them year after year. It became virtually impossible for Class 2-A schools and small town schools to compete with those private schools.
In my opinion, the split makes since for small town rural schools like DeQuincy and South Cameron, who rely strictly on homegrown local talent for their sports teams. And it gives them a much better shot at a state title.
Year after year, we get knocked out of the play-offs by big city private schools. Just last baseball season, the Tigers got beat soundly by Calvary Baptist of Shreveport, who actively recruit athletes from neighboring Texas and Arkansas. I remember driving by their dormitories that are used to house stud athletes that move there.
I would like to see some tweaking done to the play-offs, like maybe eliminate a round so that possibly 24 teams make it instead of 32. Currently, there are too many one and two win teams making the play-offs. That may be looked at at a later date.
DeQuincy's baseball and softball programs are both top public school programs, so both should have a shot a going a long way in the play-offs soon.