Director's Column

The Role of the NFHS & State Associations

The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) has the led the development of education-based (or interscholastic) sports and activities that help students succeed in their lives. Since 1920, it has set directions for the future by building awareness and support, improving the participation experience of student-athletes, establishing consistent standards and rules for competition and helping those who oversee high school sports and activities. From its offices in Indianapolis, the NFHS serves its 50 member state high school athletic/activity associations as well as the District of Columbia. The governing organization publishes rules in 16 sports for boys’ and girls’ competition and administers fine arts programs in speech, theater, debate and music. It also provides a variety of program initiatives…

Collegiate Recruitment of Student-Athletes

At the Louisiana High School Athletic Association (LHSAA), we want to provide direction for those of our student-athletes who are journeying on to the next level: the collegiate athletic stage. We understand the recruitment process can be stressful and frightening; therefore, we want to assure that our student-athletes and their families are as informed as possible regarding the recruitment process so that the transition into the collegiate arena is as smooth as possible. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is the governing organization that oversees college level student-athletes (approximately 400,000) at more than 1,000 colleges and universities. The NCAA is made up of three membership classifications known as Divisions I, II and III, and each division creates its own rules…

The LHSCA All-Star Games

Each year, the Louisiana High School Coaches Association (LHSCA) hosts high school all-star games, which allows senior student-athletes to play in their respective sports’ final game of the season. In order to be eligible to compete in an all-star game, student-athletes must be nominated by a coach who is an active member of the LHSCA, and they must be set to graduate at the end of the current school year. The sports of volleyball, football, basketball, softball, baseball and soccer all embrace all-star games, and the official sponsor of the all-star series is Louisiana Coca Cola Bottlers. Traditionally, all-star games move around the state to further display our senior student-athletes’ talents. Senior athletes are submitted for their individual sports and…

2014 Winter Sports State Champions

One of the best parts about high school sports is that it never ends during the school year. High school athletic events take place about nine months out of the year and pick up almost immediately once another sport ends its season. Our winter sports have just completed a very successful season. Allow me to wrap up the results of the many sports that took place this winter including indoor track, wrestling, soccer, basketball and powerlifting. Indoor Track Our indoor track team championships took place on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014 and concluded with Baton Rouge Magnet High School coming out on top of the girls’ Division I championships, and Hamilton Christian Academy was the victor of Division II for the…

Heat Illness Prevention in Sports

According to the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), exertional heatstroke (EHS) is the leading cause of preventable death in high school sports. I felt that this was a good topic to touch on in this week’s column as our spring sports seasons have begun and the hot months associated with much of Louisiana are right around the corner. Student-athletes participating in high-intensity, long-duration or repeated same-day sports practices and training activities during the spring or summer months or other hot-weather days are at the greatest risk. And while football has received the most attention because of the number and severity of exertional heat illnesses, many of our athletes that participate in sports that are played in South…

Go “Beyond the Game” in our Essay Contest

One of the reasons I love the springtime here at the LHSAA is because of our “Beyond the Game” essay contest. One of the goals of this annual contest is to encourage all of our member school high school students and student-athletes to use their imaginations and tell us what sportsmanship and to “Go Beyond the Game” means to them. The theme of the 3rd Annual Essay Contest is “What is a Good Sportsman?” At the LHSAA, sportsmanship is at the core of our values, and our student-athletes are the ones who exhibit sportsmanship on a regular basis. That’s why we love this essay contest, which allows students to express in their own words what it means to be a…

The Importance of Abstinence

I’ve touched on this topic before, but I truly feel that reiterating the importance of abstaining from drugs and alcohol at the high school level – and even beyond – is a vital topic that cannot be addressed enough. In fact, society has held numerous myths concerning the drinking and drug-related habits of athletes. People in general assume that athletes tend to avoid alcohol and other drugs because they are in training or don’t have the time to become involved in them. These myths even further my drive to address this topic especially on the high-school level. With many records of student athletes being arrested for alcohol and drug abuse, and research indicating that 17 percent of student-athletes who are…

LHSAA Scholarships & Awards

The Louisiana High School Athletic Association (LHSAA) will continue its tradition of steering Louisiana’s student-athletes toward a college education by granting numerous scholarships to deserving persons. Those student-athletes who combine community service, academic achievement and on-field success make up the award recipients each year, and the awards they receive are products of the generosity of our organization’s corporate sponsors and partners. Be on the lookout for the application forms for this year’s scholarships and awards as they will be posted to our website on Monday, March 3, 2014. With the help of our valued partners, there will be 24 scholarships available this year valued at a combined total of $31,000. The list of this year’s scholarship sponsors are below along…

Ruston High Wins Spirit of La. Award

In this column, I’d like to focus on our Spirit of Louisiana Community Service Project and the 2013 winner, the Ruston High School Cheerleading Squad. The Spirit of Louisiana Award is a chance for our member schools’ cheerleaders to get recognized on a state and national level for all of the wonderful projects they are doing to impact their schools and communities. The Louisiana High School Athletic Association (LHSAA) feels that this award competition allows cheerleaders from across Louisiana to make a positive impact by participating in school and community service and showcasing their efforts. Ruston High School’s 2013-14 Cheerleading Squad will be recognized at the 2014 LHSAA/UCA Annual Cheer Clinic to be held Feb. 25, 2014 at the LHSAA’s…

LHSAA 2014 Annual Convention Recap

The Louisiana High School Athletic Association‘s (LHSAA) 2014 Annual Convention was held Wednesday, January 29 through Friday, January 31 in Baton Rouge at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. Although the Louisiana High School Athletic Directors Association’s (LHSADA) Annual Meeting and the LHSAA/UCA-NCA Cheerleading Coaches’ Clinic were postponed due to icy and hazardous road conditions in the Baton Rouge area that week, the annual convention still took place although some agenda items and event times were shifted around. On Wednesday, the LHSAA’s executive committee met to discuss the many updates and proposals that were to be brought forth during the convention. Thursday was a day filled with many workshops and clinics for conference participants. LSU Head Men’s Basketball Coach Johnny Jones was…

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