Three players who helped Southern University win a Black National Championship in 1993 are part of a different elite club this week as the Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s football playoffs continue.
Amite High coach Alden Foster, Edna Karr coach Jabbar Juluke and West St. John coach Robert Valdez were all part of one of coach Pete Richardson’s most celebrated teams. On Friday, each coach leads his team to the LHSAA’s semifinal round.
Foster, a fullback for the Jaguars, takes Amite (11-1) to Marksville (10-3) for a Class 3A semifinal. Juluke was a safety for the Jaguars. Juluke and Karr (10-3) host Lutcher (12-1) in a 4A semifinal at Behrman Stadium in New Orleans.
Valdez, an offensive lineman at Southern, takes West St. John (11-2) to Abbeville to take on Vermilion Catholic (13-0) in Class 1A.
All three coaches also have ties to high schools in Baton Rouge. Valdez spent one season as head coach McKinley High, while Foster was head coach at Istrouma for one year. Juluke was an assistant at McKinley in 2005 after evacuating New Orleans because of Hurricane Katrina.
Both Juluke and Foster have experienced a run to an LHSAA title game before. Karr was the 4A runner-up to Franklinton last season. Foster coached St. Helena Central to a 2A runner-up finish in 2004.
One for the ages
When St. Charles Catholic (13-0) plays host to Parkview Baptist (9-3) for a Class 3A semifinal on Friday it will be the a rare meeting for the two teams that were once in the same 2A district 20 years ago.
The two coaches, PBS’ Kenny Guillot and St. Charles’ Frank Monica have known each other since the 1970s. Both Guillot (Nicholls State and McNeese) and Monica (Tulane) were college assistant coaches.
“When I coached at Woodlawn (Baton Rouge), Frank used to recruit this area, and I got to know him better then,” Guillot said. “But I think the first time I met him was 1976, when he coached Lutcher against my alma mater, Jesuit (Shreveport), in the playoffs.”
The 67-year-old Guillot and Monica, 63, are among the oldest coaches in the playoffs, joining West Monroe’s Don Shows, who is 71.
Shreveport-based C.E. Byrd (12-0), seeded third, is the highest seeded team remaining in the Class 5A playoffs.
Three top-seeded teams remain - Class 4A Neville-Monroe (12-0), Class 2A John Curtis-River Ridge (12-0) and Monroe’s Ouachita Christian (13-0) in Class 1A.
St. Charles, seeded second, is the highest seed left in Class 3A.