Local proposed districts mostly unchanged

PETER SILAS PASQUA news@postsouth.com

There were not many changes for local teams when enrollment figures were released and proposed districts were presented by the Louisiana High School Athletic Association for its' 389 schools last week.

The association received enrollment numbers from the Louisiana State Department of Education to base its 2013-14 and 2014-15 classification cycle on.

The LHSAA had voted to use the education department's numbers for the first time, citing past discrepancies between enrollment numbers reported to the state and the association.

Plaquemine showed an enrollment of 796 students and will remain a Class 4A school after moving up from a short stay in 3A during the previous reclassification.

White Castle, St. John and East Iberville will also all remain in Class 1A with enrollments figures of 176, 133 and 124, respectively. St. John briefly was a Class 2A school before returning to 1A two reclassifications ago.

The LHSAA began its classification process with a meeting Wednesday, the first of three to develop a two-year districting plan.

A rule change approved in January by association principals will allow schools to play one class above their enrollment-based classification. A total of 292 schools are electing to play football.

Until 2005, schools were allowed to play up as many classes as they wished before the organization's principals decided they had to play according to their enrollment.

The LHSAA preliminary basic districting plan No. 1 released Friday showed Plaquemine would remain in District 6-4A with Lutcher, St. Michael, Tara and Belaire, while former district opponents Broadmoor moves up to 5A and Istrouma drops to 2A.

District 8-1A remains identical to in the past consisting of White Castle, St. John, East Iberville, West St. John, Ascension Catholic and Ascension Christian.

For volleyball only, Plaquemine is in District 3-II with Belaire, Broadmoor, Central, Live Oak, St. Michael and Tara, while East Iberville rejoins White Castle and St. John in District 4-V with Ascension Catholic, Central Catholic, Covenant Christian, Houma Christian and West St. John, leaving out Ascension Christian.

Meetings will continue Nov. 27 in Winnfield and Nov. 28 at the LHSAA office in Baton Rouge with a final plan possibly approved then.

The most shocking development in the redistricting proposals included perennial football power John Curtis Christian of River Ridge in Jefferson Parish, who is opting to play up to the Class 3A ranks, placed in District 7-3A with Brusly, Port Allen, Donaldsonville, St. Charles Catholic and E.D. White instead of one of two separate New Orleans area districts.

Also of note, the Catholic League seeks a return as Holy Cross, Archbishop Shaw and St. Augustine have opted to play up into Class 5A and rejoin Archbishop Rummel, Brother Martin and Jesuit in District 9-5A.