East-West all-star football game to return

The Louisiana High School Coaches Association is going back to the future for its next football all-star game.

Coaches were told during this week’s LHSCA Coaches Clinic that the Texas-Louisiana Bayou Bowl played in Baytown, Texas, will not continue. That led the coaches to approve going back to an East-West All-Star format featuring only Louisiana players.

The first LHSCA East-West game since July 2006 is set for Dec. 21 at Shreveport’s Independence Stadium, said LHSCA President Terence Williams of Redemptorist High.

“I know I’m really old school, but I like the idea of having as many Louisiana players showcased as possible,” said Lutcher coach Tim Detillier, a member of the Louisiana Football Coaches Association’s executive council. “So this really may be a blessing in disguise. Obviously we’ll be playing at a different time of the year. Hopefully that will give us a chance to get our top players to compete and build this thing up bigger than it was before.”

Williams said the LHSCA was told after last month’s 11th Bayou Bowl that Texas-based organizers were no longer interested in hosting the game, which matched a Louisiana squad against a Texas team comprised of Houston-area players. Louisiana High School Athletic Association Assistant Executive Director B.J. Guzzardo confirmed the end of the agreement earlier this week.

Williams said Lafayette and Shreveport expressed interest in hosting the LHSCA game and added that the coaches approved Shreveport as the site. The plan is to have rosters of either 32 or 34 players.

With the move to a December-based LHSCA game, the coaches also addressed the future of regional all-star games that have been held a week after the LHSAA’s Prep Classic. Williams said the plan is for regional games to move to Monday, Dec. 23, because of a rule that prohibits having another all-star game the same week of the LHSCA game.

Williams said some games, including one hosted in New Orleans, already have agreed to move to Monday. But Dennis Lorio, one of the organizers for the U.S. Army Red Stick Bowl, said his group is asking the LHSAA to waive its rule and allow the Baton Rouge game to be played Dec. 20 or Dec. 22.

“We want the LHSCA game to be as big as it can be,” Lorio said. “All we’re asking is that we be allowed to play on that Friday and/or maybe Sunday. We won’t be competing for the same players, and we’ll be playing in a different part of the state.”

All-star history

The East leads the West 40-27-2 in the LHSCA series, which began in 1938. The last East-West game was held July 21, 2006, at Tiger Stadium. West Ouachita High’s Tommy Toomey was voted MVP after the East won 14-0.

Golf winners

The Rapides Parish team of Chris Bandy, Whaylen Laroux, Chris Causey and Jeremy Wittington combined to shoot 59 to win the LHSCA’s annual golf tournament.

The St. Bernard team of Paul Granberry, Chris McNamara, Numa Vinet and Lane Johnston also shot 59. The tie was broken on the 12th hole, LHSAA Marketing Director Mitch Small said.