Capitol-McKinley: a city rivalry in flux

It’s no secret that Capitol and McKinley share one of the state’s longest running inner city football rivalries.

The schools have evolved in different ways in the last decade. Capitol (1-0) once dominated the series, but is now a Class 2A school, while McKinley (0-1) is now a 5A school.

As the schools prepare for the annual Downtown Showdown set for 7 p.m. Friday at Memorial Stadium, the future of the series is one of the key questions being asked.

Can the series survive? Capitol leads the series 35-27-3, including a 22-0 loss last season.

“I think it can,” Capitol coach Claude Coleman said about the series. “We’re rebuilding. The last three years (playing McKinley) has honestly been a David vs. Goliath deal.

“This year I think we’ve got enough talent to play any 5A school, and it will be more of an even playing field.”

McKinley coach Robert Signater agrees the game has a future, noting how it attracts the both schools’ alumni.

“Due to the fact that this rivalry is 63 years old, there is a still a lot of interest in it,” Signater said. “The Downtown Showdown is still big. As long as the two schools are open and running and as long as the two have viable programs, we’re going to keep playing.

“I think it’s like a mini-Bayou Classic. Inner city schools are starting to fade away, and anything we can do to promote them is important. It doesn’t matter that it’s 5A vs. 2A.”

PHS honors 1961 team

Plaquemine High is going to recognize the school’s 1961 football team that finished as the Class 1A runner-up as part of its home game Friday night as the Green Devils host Class 3A Brusly High.

Former players and the family of the team’s coach, the late L.J. Raymond, will be among those honored. Raymond’s son, Chris, now a Brusly assistant and a former basketball all-American at PHS, will accept a plaque honoring his father.

Daniel joins EAHS staff

Former Lee High, LSU and NFL player Eugene Daniel has joined the basketball coaching staff at East Ascension High.

Daniel, who played basketball for current EAHS coach Kenny Almond at Lee. Daniel, who played 14 NFL seasons, recently coached football at Redemptorist and Central.

Daniel and his brother, Randy, both played for Almond at LHS. Randy Daniel is now a head high school football coach in New Jersey, according to Almond.

“Eugene will be a tremendous addition to our basketball program,” Almond said.

Volleyball tourneys

The 35th Brusly Invitational volleyball tournament begins Thursday with games set for 3:45 p.m.

Meanwhile, the Dutchtown Tournament that began Wednesday, continues with games starting at 4:30 p.m. Thursday.

Host Brusly, Family Christian, Live Oak, Tara, Port Allen, Woodlawn, Livonia, Belaire, Southern Lab, White Castle, St. John, Baton Rouge High and Plaquemine are among the teams set to compete at Brusly.

Games at Dutchtown are scheduled to include Ascension Christian, Lakeshore, Christian Life, University, West Feliciana, St. Amant and St. Amant.