John Curtis won back-to-back Class 2A football state championships in 2011 and 2012.
They followed that up with a Division II championship last season under the Louisiana High School Athletics Association select and nonselect format.
Could Curtis win yet another title in a third different classification this season?
Patriots coach J.T. Curtis said on Saturday morning that he will meet with his coaching staff Sunday and decide if the team will play up a classification and compete in the Division I playoffs. Schools must notify the LHSAA by noon Monday if they elect to play up in a larger classification.
While Curtis would remain competing in its regular district, a decision to play up would put the team in the playoffs with larger schools, including Catholic League schools.
“It’s pretty wide open right now,” Curtis said when asked if he was leaning more toward one way or the other. “We are going to try to look and try to get some information about who is going where. Obviously we are going to try to compete in an environment where we are going to have an opportunity to play against good teams. And we would like to try to have a full playoff bracket.”
Last season the Patriots competed in a Division II playoffs that consisted of just 15 teams. Curtis played just three games to win the title and had a bye in the first round of the playoffs and an open date before the championship game.
In the process, they steamrolled their opponents by a combined score of 120-6, including a 32-0 title game victory over University Lab.
“Last year was difficult with just having three games and the two open dates,” Curtis said of the playoffs. “It was really difficult. We have some things we have to look at.”
Currently, Division I consists of just eight teams: the six teams in the Catholic League (Brother Martin, Holy Cross, Jesuit, Rummel, Shaw, and St. Augustine) and St. Paul’s and Baton Rouge Catholic. Principals at St. Thomas More and Teurlings Catholic indicated in June that they would likely move up to Division I as well.
Also on Saturday, Curtis received special recognition in the MaxPreps Cup standings for the success of its all-around sports program.
Curtis finished first in Louisiana for best all-around sports program after winning five state championships this past school year. In addition to the football title, Curtis won titles in boys cross country, softball and indoor and outdoor boys track.
“Obviously an award like that is tremendously flattering and a compliment to the entire staff,” Curtis said. “We are extremely proud, and there are numerous people who deserve the credit. It shows that a lot of people put in the sacrifice, because sports is extracurricular. There is no formula or easy way. It’s just a matter of a lot of hard work, time and commitment.”
Schools are awarded points for playing in and winning state championship games. Points were also awarded based on type of sport, the size of the state and the size of the school.
Curtis finished with 521 points. St. Thomas More was second with 388 points. St. Scholastica (383), Vandebilt Catholic (334) and St. Paul’s (324) rounded out Louisiana’s top five.
Follow Rod Walker on Twitter: @rwalkerAdvocate