BATON ROUGE – In a vote of 206 to 119, high school principals in the state voted in favor of splitting select and non select schools in the playoffs for football only beginning in the fall.
The proposal was made by Winnfield High principal Jane Griffin and although Teurlings Catholic principal Mike Boyer attempted to get it tabled for a year, his motion was voted down.
“I think the public school people have been emailing each other across the state, and we just came to an agreement that it’s time to stand for a change,” Green Oaks High principal Marvin Alexander. “You’ve got kids in the public school system that never get an opportunity to play for the state championship. Once in awhile, a coach gets a state championship team. But if he has to play this team that’s beating everybody 56-0, the playing field is not level. We’re just asking for a level playing field.”
Proposal 18 calls for each classification having a non-select football bracket and two select playoff brackets (3A-5A and 1A-2A).
Select schools are “public or non-public school that has an admission policy to select the students who attend the school.’ Non-select schools are public schools with designated attendance zones.
“There will be now seven championship games instead of five (two select division championship games and five non-select championship games),” Doyle High School principal and LHSAA executive committee member Tommy Hodges said. “I’m sure the commissioner and the assistant commissioner and the executive committee will have to get together and work through some details and kinks about it. And they will have to do it relatively quick.”
Not everyone was happy with the vote.
“The thing that the public schools are upset about is they feel like everybody is recruiting and all the big schools are coming in like John Curtis and Evangel and taking all the good kids,” Ouachita Baptist headmaster Bobby Stokes said. “But the rules are in place already in the LHSAA. If that’s happening, all they have to do is report it. Just report it. Don’t sit there and penalize those of us who are private schools and we’re doing what we’re supposed to. ”
Proposal 1 which would allow ninth-graders from feeder school to play sports in three-grade high schools failed.
Proposal 2 which would have changed eligibility for 19-year-olds to before Aug. 1 instead of Sept. 1 fails.
Proposal 3 passes. It allows transfer students playing junior varsity immediately if attending a school outside the attendance zone.
Proposal 5 which would ban students below ninth-grade from participating in high school athletics fails.
Proposal 10 fails meaning non-faculty members cannot serve as head coaches of football, volleyball, and boys and girls basketball except for Class B and C schools.
Proposal 13 allowing one-week baseball evaluation period, including two preseason scrimmages passes.
Proposal 14 passes meaning separate girls and boys basketball semifinals and finals.
The Shreveport Times contributed to this report.