School relations committee to discuss split football playoff plan

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLANDLoranger High School's Jeryl Brazil, center, took first place in the Division II Boys 55 Meter Dash event of the LHSAA Indoor Championships held in LSU's Carl Maddox Field House on Saturday,
Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLANDLoranger High School's Jeryl Brazil, center, took first place in the Division II Boys 55 Meter Dash event of the LHSAA Indoor Championships held in LSU's Carl Maddox Field House on Saturday,

The Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s school relations committee will hold its first meeting to evaluate the organization’s split football playoff plan that is set to go into effect this fall.

Discussions are scheduled to begin 5 p.m. Tuesday at the LHSAA office in Baton Rouge.

The original plan was to have the committee, that features public and private school administrators, meet again Wednesday morning from about 8:30 a.m. until noon. The school relations committee meetings will not be open to the public nor the media.

However, a Louisiana Legislature-based hearing set for 9 a.m. Wednesday at the State Capitol, that will include House Bill 267, may change those plans. LHSAA Executive Director Kenny Henderson said the hearing for HB 267 could cause the LHSAA to cancel its Wednesday meeting.

HB 267 would ban Louisiana’s public schools from taking part in athletic contests regulated by a group that discriminates against other schools on the basis of school admission criteria.

The LHSAA split plan, as passed, requires schools to compete together for district honors and then divides them into separate football championships. The playoff structure for nonselect, or traditional public schools, features five divisions. It calls for three playoff divisions for select schools, a group that includes private, magnet, laboratory, charter and dual curriculum schools that draw more than 25 percent of their enrollment from a traditional attendance zone.

HB 267 is sponsored by House members, Rep. Alan Seabaugh, R-Shreveport, Rep. Bob Hensgens, R-Abbeville, and Rep. Wesley Bishop, D-New Orleans.

The school relations committee, chaired by Teurlings Catholic Principal Mike Boyer, is scheduled to discuss the current structure of the passed plan, along with possible alternatives.

The LHSAA’s executive committee deferred the split plan to the school relations committee for study at its meeting last month. The SRC is scheduled to report to the executive committee in June and at that time LHSAA President Todd Guice, of Ouachita Parish High, could call a special meeting of all principals.

Baseball pairings

LHSAA assistant executive director B.J. Guzzardo said the baseball playoff pairings for Class 4A to C should be released after noon Tuesday.

Teams in all but Louisiana’s top class had until 10 p.m. Monday to submit district playoff qualifiers and records to the LHSAA. The LHSAA will compile the power rankings and then release the brackets in classes 4A, 3A, 2A, 1A, B and C.

Regional track

Episcopal is the site of the Class 2A, Region 2 meet set to begin at 2 p.m. Tuesday with field events. Meanwhile, the Class 2A, Region 3 meet at St. Scholastica-Covington starts at 3 p.m.

Tuesday’s schedule also includes the Class 3A, Region 3 meet at Jewel Sumner, which was moved from Wednesday to Tuesday because of weather-related concerns. Events at Sumner start at 3:30 p.m. Also, Walker High is the site of the Class C, Region 3 meet, which starts at 4 p.m.

The 2A, Region 2 meet features some top boys individuals, including University High’s D’Vante Dotson (sprints, jumps), Episcopal’s Christian Johnson (distance events) and Bryan Stamey (distance events). Girls competitors include Episcopal’s Rachel Misher (sprints), University’s Haley Schwab (distances), Runnels’ Madelinn Fink (hurdles, jumps) and Northeast’s Jaylen Cowan (400, jumps).

The 3A, Region 3 meet includes LSU football signee Jeryl Brazil (sprints), Texas A&M football signee Darian Claiborne (throws) and Sumner pole vault specialist Devin King. The 2A, Region 3 meet includes Curtis’ Dylan Duvio (pole vault), Anthony Taylor (shot put) and Malachi Dupree (jumps).