Dearly beloved high school football fans,
We gather in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome this week to crown nine football state champions.
Coaches and players from across Louisiana will celebrate their love and commitment to the game on the biggest stage of all.
There will be tears of joy. And tears of sadness.
There will be brides. And there will be bridesmaids.
The brides will get a ring.
The bridesmaids will have to wait 'til next year.
If you're in the greater New Orleans area, it's a celebration you surely don't want to miss.
Six area teams RSVP'd and will be there.
De La Salle and Curtis reserved their spots last week.
Four more teams (Edna Karr, Lake Shore, West St. John and Hahnville) did the same Friday night.
Here's a quick recap of just how those four teams earned their invitations on Friday.
Chances are, the celebration at Behrman Stadium on Friday night wasn't quite like the ones at the other three schools. Getting to the Dome is the norm for Edna Karr. The Cougars are making their seventh trip in eight years after beating Warren Easton 20-12. This time they will be looking to do what no team in Karr history has ever done: bring a state championship trophy back to Algiers in consecutive years.
The last team from Orleans or Jefferson Parish to repeat was John Curtis, which won three straight titles from 2011-2013. Not bad for a Karr team that most thought lost too much from last year's team.
Show of hands everyone who predicted Lakeshore would be 14-0 and playing in the Dome. Nope, me either. But the Titans have been the best story of the year and now are playing in the state championship for the first time in school history. But hey, it's not like the school has much history. Lakeshore didn't open its doors until 2009. They've played only about 100 football games and here they are one win away from their first state championship. It's little wonder cars were lined up across Highway 1088 on Friday night for the biggest game in school history, a 33-0 rout over Rayne. Remember the Titans? It will be hard not to after this season.
Ok, well maybe West St. John didn't borrow. This was more like taking than borrowing. The Rams intercepted Logansport quarterback Dalton Shaw three times. He had been picked off just once all season prior to. As a result, West St. John did what no team has been able to do since 2015: beat Logansport. The Rams ended Logansport's 27-game winning streak. It was the first time the reigning Class 1A state champs had lost since falling to Kentwood in the quarterfinals two seasons ago. As a result, West St. John will head to the championship game for the first time since 2007.
It could have been the last time Anthony "Pooka" Williams ever touched a football in a Hahnville uniform. And for a brief moment, it looked like it would be with no hole on the left side of the field. But then Pooka did what Pooka does, reversing field and bursting up the middle and plowing in for the game-winning 2-point conversion in overtime that gave Hahnville a 43-42 victory over host Acadiana.
It's the latest highlight for a guy whose entire career has been full of highlights.
Because of that run, he'll get to play one more game.
He'll probably be easy to spot.
Chances are, he'll be the best man.