The sun is out. Flowers are blooming. Grass is greener. Birds are singing.
Today marks the first day of spring, and this past weekend the LHSAA wrapped up its winter sports season at the conclusion of five consecutive weeks. After six different championship events, let's celebrate 49 state championship teams from all across Louisiana.
The stretch from mid-February through mid-March is a magical time for high school sports in Louisiana. It’s exhausting for those involved, but almost every day we are celebrating someone new on a statewide level.
The Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Wrestling State Tournament led things off as 11,000+ people filled the CenturyLink Center in Bossier City on February 10-11. Divisions II and III saw repeat champions in Teurlings Catholic and De La Salle. The Rebels made it four in a row, while the Cavaliers went back-to-back. Meanwhile, Holy Cross brought home their first Division I title since 1988. It was the Tigers 28th overall wrestling state championship, which is the most for any LHSAA school in one sport.
LSU hosted the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Indoor Track & Field State Meet the next weekend and it was the Baton Rouge area schools who dominated. Division I’s Catholic (BR) and Division II’s Episcopal swept the boys titles, and Brusly won their first ever indoor track championship in Division II. Girls’ Division I went to Lafayette.
Before Mardi Gras could completely takeover the city of New Orleans, City Park and Tad Gormley Stadium were the gracious hosts of the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Soccer State Championships on February 22-24. The first day of the event was inundated with four games. The Isidore Newman Greenies started the holiday in style, sweeping the Girls’ and Boys’ title games in Division IV. Vandebilt Catholic captured the Girls’ Division III with the overtime heroics of MVP Grace Champagne, and St. Louis Catholic’s boys’ team won their state record 13th state championship in Division III.
In Girls’ Division II, Lakeshore toppled St. Thomas More on penalty kicks thanks to MVP Caitlin Moore in goal. The Cougars did bring home a state championship trophy when their boys defeated Alexandria despite a late flurry from the Trojans. Familiar faces took care of business in Division I. Mount Carmel won their second straight state championship and third in six years. Meanwhile, the St. Paul’s Wolves took home their amazing fourth straight state championship on the boys’ side.
The new format in the basketball playoffs saw several new faces in both girls’ and boys’ at the state tournament in 2017. A packed schedule of six games a day for six consecutive days over two weeks accounted for a lot of “marsh madness” in both Hammond and Lake Charles.
At the girls’ tournament at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, the classification trophies went to Destrehan, AJ Ellender, South Beauregard, Madison Prep, Gueydan, Florien, and Summerfield while divisional trophies were won by John Curtis Christian, Parkview Baptist, Northlake Christian, Lafayette Christian, and New Living Word.
The boys got their opportunity a week later from the Burton Complex in Lake Charles. Landry-Walker, Washington-Marion, Peabody, Madison Prep, White Castle, Zwolle, and Atlanta snatched the state titles in their classifications. Scotlandville, De La Salle, Metairie Park Country Day, Lafayette Christian, and Crescent City reigned victorious in their respective divisions.
Finally, the winter sports season was capped off by the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Powerlifting State Meet at the Fant-Ewing Coliseum at UL-Monroe. The state’s fastest growing sport named five state champions in both girls’ and boys’ categories. The girls from Alexandria, Tioga, Lutcher, Pope John Paul II, and Ascension Catholic and boys’ squads from West Monroe, Abbeville, Peabody, Pope John Paul II, and Delhi Charter all outlifted their competition.
These events would not be possible without the wonderful working relationships the LHSAA shares with the following groups and organizations:
- Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission
- LSU Track & Field
- New Orleans City Park
- Academy of the Sacred Heart (NO)
- Hammond Steering Committee
- Southeastern Louisiana University
- Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention and Visitors Bureau
- Calcasieu Parish Police Jury
- Monroe/West Monroe Convention and Visitors Bureau
- West Monroe High School
- University of Louisiana at Monroe