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Select Schools Within LHSAA Vote to Form Sub-Group

Paul Steinbach

Schools within the Louisiana High School Athletic Association have voted to form a sub-organization called the Louisiana Select Association.

As reported by The Daily Iberian, a group of 71 of the 108 select schools in the state, defined LHSAA as those schools that control their enrollment voted to form the LSA, elected a CEO, approved board members and discussed the selection of sites for the 2019-20 select championships during a meeting Monday at Teurlings Catholic High School in Lafayette.

Members of the LSA said the move isn’t meant to further split from the LHSAA.

“All things being equal, we want to get back together," St. Louis Catholic athletic director Pat Neck told KPLC in St. Charles. “That’s the primary goal, but seeing as how we don’t see that as a realistic possibility anytime soon, we felt like collectively as a group of select schools we needed a bit better of representation within the executive committee and also with the LHSAA as a whole because we are outnumbered two to one.”

The change comes on the heels of the LHSAA’s vote in January that allowed select schools to break away and host their own separate championships events. The four sports affected by the vote are football, boys and girls basketball, baseball and softball.

“This is not an attempt to split away from the LHSAA,” said Catholic High athletic director J.P. Kelly, who was elected CEO. “In fact, Adam MacDowell [LHSAA assistant executive director] was at our meeting in New Orleans and the schools there said they are 100 percent in favor of unification of the LHSAA. We have offered to do anything we can to help that process. The LHSAA has helped us by answering questions over the last few months. This is a way for select schools to be organized.”

A 10-person LSA leadership committee has representatives from each of the five select divisions. In addition, all four split sports and each area of the state are also represented. Teurlings Catholic principal Michael Boyer and former LHSAA executive director Kenny Henderson are on the board, as well.

As reported by The Advocate in Baton Rouge, Kelly told the LHSAA executive committee in June that a select organization would operate like the LHSAA’s other associate organizations, including the LHSCA and Louisiana High School Athletic Directors Association. Critics see it as a move by select schools toward separate organizations — something that hasn’t been discussed since the first two years of the original select/non-select split in 2013.

Before the vote, select schools in attendance were told that select schools representatives have already been in discussions with Mercedes-Benz Superdome (football), Tulane (football, baseball), Alario Center (basketball) and the University of Louisiana (multiple sports). One notable report came from Tim Sensley of Highland Baptist, who told the group that UL would allow select schools to host events at their venue at no charge, while retaining gate receipts. The LSA would be required to pay for security and other costs.

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