I think one of the questions people have had all year is how strong is Baton Rouge football in 5A. They’ve wanted to know whether or not we’re relevant. Two teams in the top five is a strong statement.” SID EDWARDS, Central football coach
Parkview Baptist football coach Kenny Guillot hoped his team would be seeded in the top five when the Louisiana High School Athletic Association announced its playoff pairings.
Guillot’s Eagles got a top seed and then some. PBS (8-0) was seeded No. 1 in Class 3A when the LHSAA released its football playoff pairings on Sunday at its Baton Rouge office and were the only BR team to garner a top seed.
However, Parkview faces a unique challenge in No. 32 Erath (5-5) in this week’s bidistrict round. A year ago, Erath coach Doug Dotson led then No. 32 Central to a win over No. 1 St. Paul’s in Class 5A.
“We consider being seeded No. 1 to be an honor,” Guillot said. “When you’re seeded No. 1, it definitely shows that you’re winning and your opponents also won plenty of games.
“It shows some consistency, and that’s what you want for your program. With that said, the first thing I’m going to tell our guys tomorrow is about Doug and how he coached Central to a win last year. His team is not coming here expecting to lose.”
University High (9-1) claimed the third seed in Class 2A and will host Jonesboro-Hodge (4-6) in the LSHAA’s bidistrict round this week. In 4A, Lutcher (9-0) also got a No. 3 seed and hosts St. Martinville (5-5). Class 2A Springfield (8-1) also drew a No. 4 seed and will face another area team in Northeast (4-5).
Two 5A teams, No. 4 Central (9-1) and No. 5 Catholic (7-2), were Baton Rouge’s other top five seeds. Central hosts Ponchatoula (5-4), while Catholic hosts Carencro (5-4). Those matchups also offer intrigue. A year ago, Ponchatoula upset higher-seeded Dutchtown in the bidistrict round. Carencro was the 5A runner-up last fall.
“I think one of the questions people have had all year is how strong is Baton Rouge football in 5A,” Central coach Sid Edwards said.
“They’ve wanted to know whether or not we’re relevant. There is no guarantee how well any of us will do in the playoffs. Two teams in the top five is a strong statement. And we got five teams from our district (4-5A) in the playoffs.”
Districts 4-5A and 7-2A were playoff hot spots with five of six teams from each league made the playoffs. Zachary (6-4) at 19th, Scotlandville (6-3) at 21st, Live Oak (5-5) at 26th and Denham Springs (5-5) at 30th come from 4-5A. Denham Springs got the toughest draw in No. 3 West Monroe (8-2).
Denham Springs coach Dru Nettles noted that the Yellow Jackets have already played three other top five seeds in Central, Catholic and top-seeded Rummel.
“We’ve faced some adversity this season, but our kids have battled,” Nettles said. “This is five straight years in the playoffs for us. It’ll be a great experience and opportunity to play West Monroe.”
Episcopal (7-2) got the No. 9 seed and joins University in the playoffs along with three other 7-2A teams, The Dunham School (5-5) at No. 28, No. 29 Northeast and No. 31 Capitol (3-7). Capitol travels to play traditional power Evangel Christian (8-2), while Dunham plays at Winnfield (9-1), last year’s 2A runner-up.
The other two 5-5A teams joining Catholic in the playoffs meet each other with No. 16 Dutchtown (7-2) set to host No. 17 St. Amant (7-2).
“There shouldn’t be a problem getting either team motivated,” SAHS coach David Oliver said.
Two teams achieved milestones. Live Oak made the Class 5A playoffs for the first time in school history.
In 1A, Pointe Coupee Central (7-2), which clinched its first district title last Friday, will host a playoff game for the first time, thanks to a No. 8 seed. LOHS travels to Parkway (9-0) and PCC hosts Montgomery (6-4).
Livonia, of 5-3A, grabbed a No. 5 and hosts Marksville (5-5). Brusly, a No. 16 seed, hosts 7-3A rival E.D. White Catholic (6-4).
The No. 9s have home games with Episcopal hosting B.T. Washington, of Shreveport (5-5), and 1A No. 9 Southern Lab (8-2) hosting another BR area team in Catholic-PC (6-4).
Class 4A Plaquemine (6-4), a No. 16 seed, got a home game with Breaux Bridge (7-3). ... Class 1A Christian Life (5-5) was the other BR team to draw a top two seed. The Crusaders travel to play No. 2 Haynesville (7-2). ... The St. Martinville-Lutcher game also brings another coach back toward Baton Rouge. St. Martinville’s Gary Adkins was a head coach locally at Bishop Sullivan, Port Allen, White Castle and Donaldsonville.