Volleyball: Northshore-Southshore Challenge starts Friday

Photo provided by Sacred Heart High SchoolSacred Heart tennis player Caroline Brinson
Photo provided by Sacred Heart High SchoolSacred Heart tennis player Caroline Brinson

Sacred Heart volleyball coach Mike Barnes easily found participants for the first Northshore vs. Southshore Classic.

Cardinals senior Charlotte Delery did not need much convincing either.

“The title of it just sounds intriguing: ‘Civil War,’ ” Delery said of the tournament’s nickname.

The two-day roundrobin pits five Northshore teams (St. Scholastica, Mandeville, Fontainebleau, Pope John Paul II, and Northshore) against five from the Southshore (Ben Franklin, Ursuline, Chapelle, Country Day and the host Cardinals).

Each team will play all five cross-lake opponents once and the side with the best record after those 25 matches will win the overall title.

The event, sponsored by the Stanley W. Ray Philanthropic and Civic Trust, starts at 4 p.m. Friday and continues 9 a.m. Saturday.

Barnes said he came up with the idea from a Louisiana vs. Alabama tournament once staged by McGill-Toolen High School in Mobile, Ala.

“Since Katrina, they have a new coach so the new coaching staff didn’t continue it,” Barnes said. “With power rankings in-state, if you play someone out of state those six games don’t count.”

Barnes wanted to continue the spirit of that tournament in Louisiana. He began by contacting St. Scholastica coach Pete Bertucci, who agreed to participate and began contacting teams on his side of the lake while Barnes did the same on his side.

Barnes said he had more trouble finding unwilling participants than willing. Benjamin Franklin and Ursuline had scheduling conflicts but Barnes kept making calls.

“Everybody that’s in there jumped at the opportunity,” Barnes said. “They see it’s a good way to kick off the school year with a good, tough tournament.”

Brinson Georgia-bound

Caroline Brinson will not let her college decision loom over her pursuit of a sixth straight state title in singles tennis. The Sacred Heart senior plans to sign with Georgia on Nov. 13.

“I took into consideration all my options and I decided that, even if I had the choice to go to any school in the country, I’d still choose Georgia,” said Brinson, who received the offer in March. “The coaching, the team, the atmosphere. It seemed perfect and still does.”

It was a personal decision for Brinson, who was recently named a National Federation All-American. She will become the third generation of her family to attend the university where her grandfather played baseball, her father played rugby, and her mother, Elizabeth, played tennis.

Elizabeth Brinson first exposed Caroline to the sport. After trying out several others Caroline decided to focus on improving in tennis.

“I consider her basically one of my coaches,” Brinson said of her mother. “She has a say in my game.”

While she proclaims herself a lifelong Bulldog, Brinson has been a Cardinal for the past seven years. She began her time at Sacred Heart in fifth grade. By the seventh grade she was playing varsity for the Cardinals. She has won a state title every year since then.

De La Salle tabs Deritter

Alan Deritter, whose Brother Martin soccer teams won two state championships, is the new boys coach at De La Salle.

“We feel like we’ve gotten a real steal,” Cavaliers Athletic Director Tony Bonura said of Deritter, who comes to De La Salle from Shaw. “De La Salle was one of the early pioneers in soccer in this state and with Alan’s leadership we’re going to be one again.”

Deritter, who operates the Soccer Innovations of American club team, guided Brother Martin to Division I state titles in 2000 and 2001 plus a runner-up finish in 2002. He was the 2001 Louisiana Volleyball Coaches Association’s Coach of the Year.

Slidell loses receiver

Slidell wide receiver Jordan Bello,who was injured in an auto accident Friday night following the Tigers’ jamboree victory against East Jefferson is out for the season.

“Jordan will walk again and run again, but his high school football career is over,” Slidell coach Larry Favre said. “It’s such a shame.

“I tell our seniors every day to cherish this year because they’ll have an experience like this again.”

Bello, who was a returning starter, caught the winning touchdown pass in the final minute of the jamboree.

He wasn’t the only Slidell player injured in the game. Quarterback Ryan Rucker suffered an ankle injury and is out for at least Friday’s opener at Chalmette. The Tigers had already lost backup Steve Dieck to a shoulder injury a scrimmage. Bradley Bozant, who began preseason as the third-team quarterback, will start for Slidell on Friday.

Advocate correspondent Ian McCusker contributed to this report.