Redemptorist gets new FB coach; other schools still looking
There are things out there that I hope will be taken care of soon. Some other things need to happen before the coaches are hired.” Ken Jenkins, EBR Parish athletics and activities supervisor
Former Miller-McCoy and South Plaquemines coach Craig Laborde is the new head football coach at Class 2A Redemptorist, answering one important high school sports question before the 2012-13 school year.
However, the number of questions surrounding local high schools remain. Johnny Felders, who spent one season as head football coach at Istrouma, is moving to Northeast High as an assistant coach.
As mid-June approaches, four schools located in East Baton Rouge Parish are still without head football coaches for the fall. Class 3A Baker could announce its new football and boys basketball coaches this week, said Gary Mitchell, the school’s athletic director.
Robert Raines (football) and Raeshawn Williams (boys basketball) both resigned within days of each other late last month.
Istrouma, Tara and Glen Oaks are all 4A schools and are also without head football coaches. What the East Baton Rouge Parish School System plans to do as it re-opens Lee High this fall is also part of the equation.
“There are things out there that I hope will be taken care of soon,” said Ken Jenkins, EBR’s Athletics and Activities Supervisor. “Some other things need to happen before the coaches are hired.”
Jenkins said Tara and Glen Oaks won’t name head football coaches until each school gets a new principal. Jenkins said candidates have interviewed for the principal spots and could be approved as early as June 21.
In the meantime, Donald Clark, who served as GOHS’ interim coach last fall, is handling the Panthers’ offseason program. Mitch McGrew, an assistant football coach and head baseball coach at Tara, is handling the Trojans’ offseason workouts.
Redemptorist is also a school in transition. John Sanders has retired as the parochial school’s leader, and Brian Menard has taken over as Administrative Head of Schools. RHS, a Class 3A football power for a decade, dropped to 2A in the most recent reclassification by the Louisiana High School Athletic Association has hired Laborde as its third head football coach in three years.
The 47-year-old Laborde was a career police officer who got into coaching and built the Miller-McCoy program before moving to South Plaquemines for the 2011 season.
“At one point I decided I needed to be helping the kids we were arresting,” Laborde explained. “I worked as a non-faculty coach at St. Charles Catholic. So I went back to school and got certified to teach.
“My wife and I were looking for a place where we could be part of the community for a long time, and we think Redemptorist is that place. Right now, I know we’re a 2A school and we could be a 1A school after the next classification process. We’ll have to see how that goes. I’ve already met some of the players, and I’m anxious to get started.”
Istrouma, now part of Louisiana’s Recovery School District, got a key question about its transition from the EBR system answered by the LHSAA during its summer meeting last week. The LHSAA’s executive committee voted to allow RSD schools like Istrouma to continue competing in their current district instead of making them re-apply for membership.
Dana Peterson, Deputy Superintendent of External Affairs for the RSD, nixed rumors that have the RSD merging Capitol and Istrouma.
“Capitol and Istrouma are both going to continue as (RSD) schools,” Peterson said. “We’re in the process of interviewing for a new principal at Capitol now.”
Meanwhile, Istrouma will be seeking a new head football coach to replace Felders, who will coach quarterbacks and defensive backs at EBR-based Northeast.
“I had to a make a decision that I felt was best for me,” Felders said. “I learned a lot about what it takes to oversee and an entire program this past year. Hopefully, I can use that experience at Northeast. I hope can be a help and an asset for coach (David) Masterson (Northeast head coach).”
EBR’s Jenkins conceded the answers for Lee High are not as simple. Lee closed at the end of 2008-09 school year. A forum is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday at Mayfair Middle School to discuss how the school will be reshaped, including its attendance zone, course offerings, etc.
Staffing for the school, including a prospective coaching staff, is also in limbo.
Because it ceased operation and is now reopening, Lee High will have to apply for LHSAA membership, a process that only takes place in January. Like all new LHSAA schools, Lee would not be allowed to compete for state honors for two years.
RSD and PCC
LaBarre-based Pointe Coupee Central is also part of the RSD and is awaiting the addition of its new principal, according to Toby St. Cyr, the school’s athletic director and head boys basketball coach.
“I hope we’ll know more within the next week,” St. Cyr said, noting that all teachers and coaches had to re-apply for jobs at the Class 1A school.
Hebert, Keowen hired
Redemptorist has added Renee Hebert as its volleyball and softball coach for 2012-13, while Kade Keowen is set to become an assistant baseball coach at Denham Springs High.
Hebert also comes to Redemptorist from South Plaquemines. Keowen, a former Central High standout, was head baseball coach at False River Academy this spring, leading the Gators to the 1A playoffs.