John Curtis to move up to Division I for football

The John Curtis High School football team will compete for the Division I state championship this fall.

Patriots coach J.T. Curtis said he submitted the paperwork to the Louisiana High School Athletic Association. at 11:53 Monday morning, finalizing the decision to play up in classificication.

Curtis competed in Division II last season, the first year that the LHSAA went to the split select and non-select format.

This season the perennial power Patriots will play in the division comprised of the state’s largest select schools.

“I think there were a couple things that were very important to help us make the decision,” said Curtis. “The first thing was that the competition and number of people who would be in the division would make it very competitive.”

Curtis will remain competing in its regular district, but will play in the playoffs with larger schools, including Catholic League schools.

Division I is comprised of the six teams in the Catholic League (Brother Martin, Holy Cross, Jesuit, Rummel, Shaw, and St. Augustine) and St. Paul’s and Baton Rouge Catholic. Principals at St. Thomas More and Teurlings Catholic indicated in June that they would likely move up to Division I as well.

“My understanding is that Evangel is going to move up as well,” Curtis said.

The deadline for school’s to decide if they choose to play up a classification is noon Monday. The LHSAA will not announce which schools moved up until later for schools who submit their forms via mail.

Last season the Patriots competed in a Division II playoffs that consisted of just 15 teams. Curtis played just three games to win the title and had a bye in the first round of the playoffs and an open date before the championship game.

In the process, they steamrolled their opponents by a combined score of 120-6, including a 32-0 title game victory over University Lab.

Curtis indicated other benefits of the move for his program as well.

“Financially it is certainly beneficial to play those type of playoff games with that kind of competition,” Curtis said. “It will benefit all schools. And finally if it goes to helps put our state back together as far as high school football, I’m all for it. I don’t like our state being separated (select and non – select). Whatever we can do as long as we can do and it’s not detrimental to our school we want to do our part in putting it back together.”