On Wednesday, participants of the conference got to enjoy several vendor exhibits as well as the Hall of Fame Banquet and Induction Ceremony that night.
The 2013 Louisiana High School Sports Hall of Fame Inductees included Gene Bennett, a former coach from St. Paul’s School; Victor Ortiz, a coach from Anacoco; Mac W. Barousse, a coach from Carencro; Karen Mack Hoyt, a coach from Albany; Cliff Strider, a Louisiana wrestling official; and Larry Schneider, a coach at Archbishop Rummel.
Thursday was a day filled with lots of workshops and clinics for attendees. Also on Thursday was the Coco-Cola Convention Luncheon, where Duke University’s Director of Sport Psychology and Leadership Greg Dale spoke to attendees about credibility and inspiring others to follow you through your role as a coach and leader. At the luncheon, the LHSAA also recognized various organizations and individuals for their participation and service toward high school athletics in Louisiana.
The 2012 Partnership Recognition awards went to State Farm and its Louisiana agents, Coca-Cola Bottlers of Louisiana, ISC, Nike, Baden Sports, J.C. Fodale Energy Services, ExxonMobil, Talk’n Tshirts, Musemeche Photography, Tulane Institute of Sports Medicine, North Oaks Orthopaedic, Green Clinic Sport Medicine and Orthopaedic, Lake Charles Memorial Sports Medicine, Fox Sport New Orleans, Louisiana Propane Dealers, Cajun Industries and the New Orleans Saints. Kathy Holloway, James Simmons and Tulane University Athletics were honored with Distinguished Service awards, and Josh Dworaczyk won the Golden Torch Award. Marcus Carmouche was awarded the Prep Journalism Award, and Super Sport awards went to Eric Zartler, Ken Antee and Paula Willis. The Spirit of Louisiana Community Service Project Award went to Benton High School’s cheerleading squad while Nick Gaspard of Ouachita High School took home the Cheerleading Coach of the Year Award.
On Friday, the 328 member school principals in attendance voted on proposed amendments to LHSAA rules after enjoying a continental breakfast sponsored by Herff Jones. A major convention highlight was the decision made by LHSAA principals to return to the traditional Boys’ & Girls’ Top 28 State Basketball formats, where each tournament is held at separate sites with the girls’ finals played one week before the boys’ finals.
Another major change made by LHSAA member school principals was the decision to split the state football playoffs into categories of “select” and “non-select” schools for the first time in the 92 year history of the organization. Select schools are designated as public or non-public schools that have an admission policy to select the students who attend the schools. Non-select schools are public schools that have a designated attendance zone.
Both select and non-select schools will continue to compete in the regular season and in the same districts; however, once the postseason begins, so does the adjustment. The non-select schools will contend for the 5A, 4A, 3A, 2A and 1A classification championships as they always have, but the select schools will be separated and split into Divisions I and II. Division I will consist of those select schools in classes 5A, 4A and 3A while Division II will be comprised of select schools from classes 2A and 1A.
This year’s convention was certainly one of the most notable in our history, and as we begin to implement the new plans that came from this event, it is my expectation that our schools and student-athletes will have even better athletic programs, more prominent seasons and added talent.
For more information on the 2013 LHSAA Annual Convention, please visit the Annual Convention section of our website at www.lhsaa.org.