Incoming LHSAA Executive Director Eddie Bonine kept his comments brief during the annual Coca-Cola Convention Luncheon on Thursday at the Crowne Plaza.
Bonine said member schools take care of Louisiana’s most precious commodity, its student-athletes. He also stressed the importance of continuing education and growth for coaches and athletic directors.
Unlike other workshops and area meetings, Bonine referred to pending proposals that could extend the LHSAA split championships beyond football to baseball, softball and basketball in more general terms.
“I’m hoping I can earn your blind trust to get this thing going in the right direction,” Bonine said.
During a workshop earlier in the day, Bonine called on staff and executive committee members to help provide answers for questions regarding the split. Executive committee member Todd Guice of Ouachita Parish High said adding more championships in other sports would likely force other changes.
“I’m not saying we can’t do it (more championships), because you can,” Guice said. “In my opinion, it would be difficult to sustain things the way we’re doing them now. For softball, which I think is a great event, you might have to play finals only instead of semifinals and finals.”
Bonine told those on hand for the workshop that he wants to form a committee of schools at the heart of both sides of the LHSAA’s public vs. private school issues to develop some solutions to be placed on the 2016 agenda. Bonine said the goal would be to have those solutions ready to review by the fall.
Former LHSAA assistant executive director Rhonda Dreibelbis and School Relations Committee Chairman Mike Boyer of Teurlings Catholic received the LHSAA Distinguished Service Awards at the convention luncheon.
Dreibelbis, who was inducted to the Louisiana High School Sports Hall of Fame on Wednesday night, was unable to attend the luncheon. She coached at Carencro and Abbeville.
Interim executive director Jimmy Anderson received an award from the Louisiana High School Coaches Association for his service. Also notable was a special award given to WAFB’s “Sportsline Friday Nite” for its work covering high school football over a 25-year span.
Former Teurlings Catholic baseball and football standout Taylor Dugas, now part of the New York Yankees farm system, received the Golden Torch award for community service. Longtime Ruston Daily Leader sports editor O.K. “Buddy” Davis was the Prep Journalism award winner.
University High Athletic Director Jill White was selected as the Athletic Director of the Year for the Baton Rouge region during the Louisiana High School Athletic Directors Conference also held at the Crowne Plaza.
White has served as athletic director for the Cubs since 2004-05. She previously coached girls basketball at the school.
More LHSAA stuff
The LHSAA executive committee reported that the case involving the Livonia High football team from 2014-15 was settled out of court.
LHSAA President Vic Bonnaffee said $8,400 in gate receipts will divided among Livonia’s four football playoff opponents. The school forfeited its state runner-up finish in football in 2014 after the LHSAA found a player to be ineligible.
- Bonine said he met with key Louisiana legislators earlier in the week.
He met with Speaker of the House Chuck Kleckley on Monday and senators, Dan Claitor and Page Cortez, on Tuesday.