Upcoming prep grid districts change

Tryve Brackin / Guest Contributor

Iberville Parish prep football teams will find increased opportunity to improve this nearing grid season.

The parish's trio of Class 1-A teams (St. John, East Iberville, and White Castle) were placed in a much smaller District 6-A league than in recent seasons. Gone from one of the most competitive leagues a year ago are heavy-duty playoff powers Southern Lab and Kentwood (moved up to 2-A).

The parish trio now have only to compete with a pair of Ascension Parish private schools (ACHS and Ascension Christian). Donaldsonville's Ascenion Catholic, however, proves to be a clear title challenger. ACHS has been in the state 1-A title hunt for two-straight years, and the Bulldogs now have legendary Dutchtown High coach Benny Saia taking over as mentor.

All three Iberville teams made the playoffs last year, but did not reach the later brackets.

Meanwhile, the parish's highest classification school Plaquemine High will play in the lightest-fashioned District 4-A league in recent grid slates. The Green Devils lost their two most competitive 6-4A foes to reclassification. Gone are Woodlawn High to Class 5-A and Lutcher High to Class 3-A.

A change in those schools' enrollment provided PHS a trio of less grid competitive foes with Belaire, Broadmoor, and Istrouma joining the district.

The Parish club also changes district numbers from 6-4A to 7-4A. PHS has played in the 6-4A for several seasons. Along with the trio of East Baton Rouge newcomers to the slate, PHS will hit the gridiron against longtime district foes St. Michael and Tara High.

The Green Devils are sure to continue their dominance in the new league. So much so, that Coach Paul Distefano likely will continue to schedule strong upper classification foes early in the season to toughen up his team for another run in the state playoffs.

But, PHS still has to lineup and play their best when the competition dips a bit in league play and hit another level in the postseason. NOTE: Also in the new 7-A league is Lee Magnet, but they are reforming a grid program at the school and will play only JV ball for a season, maybe two. Gonna be interesting!