University new No. 1 in 3A poll

The metamorphosis of the University High football program over the last four years has included playoff success and some media attention.

While it doesn’t count for power ratings or in the win column, the Cubs of coach Chad Mahaffey reached a notable milestone this week. UHS (5-0) is ranked No. 1 in Class 3A in the latest Louisiana Sports Writers Association polls.

“It’s a nice honor,” Mahaffey said. “But until somebody in our classification beats John Curtis or Evangel, I still believe they’re the top teams.

“There are a lot of expectations for this team and so far I think we’ve handled that and performed well.”

U-High, previously ranked No. 2 behind John Curtis, assumed the No. 1 spot after the Patriots (3-2) lost to Class 5A St. Augustine last week. That win over Curtis, whose other loss was to nationally-ranked Florida’s St. Thomas Aquinas, also helped catapult St. Aug into the top spot in 5A.

Shrevcport-based Evangel (3-1) dropped in the polls after losing to 4A St. Thomas More in a Week 4.

University garnered 113 points and five first-place votes from a panel of sportswriters from across the state. Curtis got four first-place votes and had 111 points. Notre Dame-Crowley (5-0) picked up the other first-place vote and had 101 points.

The move up to the top spot in the polls also comes during a pivotal week for Cubs. UHS travels to play No. 6 Parkview Baptist (4-1) in a District 7-3A showdown on Friday.

Both teams are 2-0 in district. PBS has won four straight and tallied 76 points in this week’s LSWA polls.

The Eagles were the 3A champion a year ago, beating Notre Dame in the final. Parkview has won three state titles and had one runner-up finish since 2007.

“I’ve told our guys that over the last 10 years Parkview has been the most successful program in Baton Rouge,” Mahaffey said. “They’re the team that has gone all the way and won it.”

U-High is one of three new No. 1 teams in this week’s LSWA poll. In addition to St. Aug and UHS, Haynesville (5-0) took over the top spot in 1A following Ouachita Christian’s loss to 3A Union Parish last week.

The list of Baton Rouge teams featured in the rankings is a short one. Ninth-ranked East Ascension (5-0) and No. 10 Catholic High (4-1) remain in the 5A top 10. Dutchtown received 16 points from voters and is just outside the 5A top 10.

In 4A, Plaquemine High (4-1) moved up one spot to fifth as Neville (5-0) retained the No. 1 ranking. UHS, PBS and No. 8 Livonia (5-0) are the area’s 3A top 10 teams.

No Baton Rouge teams are included in either 2A or 1A polls. Many (5-0) remains No. 1 in 2A.

Two teams who compete in area districts, fifth-ranked West St. John (3-2) and No. 7 Kentwood (3-2), are featured in the 1A poll.