LSA decides on dates for football title games

Kyle Riviere
Ascension Catholic is one of the two parish schools that make up the LSA. Photo by Kyle Riviere.

The location of the select-school football state title games is still unknown, but the dates of the games were set in stone last Friday.

Catholic of Baton Rouge Athletic Director and Louisiana Select Association CEO J.P. Kelly announced in a release that the four select championship games will be played Dec. 5-7. These games will take place a week prior to the non-select title matchups, which will be played in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

This all stems from the split that took place in Louisian high-school football back in 2013.

Public school principals voted for the split, claiming private schools had an unfair advantage due to their ability to recruit.

Therefore, four new divisions were added. These divisions were filled with select schools—which included private schools, also charter, laboratory and magnet institutions.

In 2016, the split was implemented to basketball, softball and baseball.

In Ascension Parish, both Ascension Catholic and Ascension Christian fall into the select-school category. If they reach a championship game in the future, it will be an event organized by the LSA.

The formation of the LSA was made possible by a vote from Louisiana high-school principals back in January.

They voted to allow select schools to host separate tile events in sports that have been split. With this, the LSA was born. It's a sub-organization of the LHSAA, that will have the sole purpose of holding championship events for select schools.

Kelly said that the LSA is focusing on the football championship events at the moment. They will provide information about the basketball, baseball and softball title games at a later date.

The first hurdle of picking out dates for the select-school football championships has been cleared. Now, they must figure out the location of the games.

Before they can do so, Kelly is waiting for all divisions of select schools to confirm in writing that they will decline hosting a championship game.

This is a result of a proposal by Teurlings Catholic High School Principal Mike Boyer that called for the higher-seeded team to host the championship game at its school or a neutral site agreed upon by both teams.

All 108 schools in each division have to agree to forego the opportunity to host the title game before a neutral site can be chosen. Kelly said that all schools in three divisions have done just this, but they're waiting for one final division to complete the process.

If the final division agrees to decline hosting a championship game, then all divisions will play their title matchups at a neutral site selected by the LSA.

UL-Lafayette, Tulane, Southeastern and Southern have all expressed interest in hosting select-school championship events at their sports venues.

Playing the select football championships at the Superdome is still on the table. LHSAA Executive Director Eddie Bonine has requested that select schools are polled to gauge their interest in keeping the title games at the dome.

Kelly said that they hope to have things finalized within the next two weeks, in time for the beginning of the high-school football regular season.