Preston Curtis, track and field coach at John Curtis, has been named Louisiana’s Boys Coach of the Year by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.

Curtis led the Patriots to the Class 3A state outdoor championship in the spring after also winning the Division II indoor title earlier in the school year.

It was the fifth consecutive outdoor title (the previous four were in Class 2A) and the fourth straight indoor title.

“No doubt it’s an honor, but it’s an honor that’s shared with many people in our program,” Curtis said. “I don’t do it for the accolades. We do it for the kids and equipping them for life and reaching their full potential. I have the most passionate, dedicated coaching staff I could possibly have.”

Chris Carrier, of Zachary High, was named Louisiana’s Girls Coach of the Year.

The winners from each state were announced Tuesday and are in consideration for the association’s first National High School Coach of the Year award. Selected by a panel of track & field experts, one boys coach and one girls coach from among all the states will be announced later this month as the national winners.

“We’ve established a tradition of recognizing our nation’s top collegiate coaches on a yearly basis, and we felt it was time to shine the spotlight on our best coaches at the high school level,” USTFCCCA CEO Sam Seemes said.

State-by-state winners were selected based on their teams’ performances throughout the 2014 season.

Among the factors taken into consideration were team score and placement at state championships, the number of different events in which student-athletes were qualified, individual championships and how their teams’ performances stacked up to previous years (example: first title in school history, consecutive titles, etc.)

Curtis has served as head coach since 2005.

“We are planning to continue the success and hoping to let the girls team also get to see what it feels like to be the best,” Curtis said.

Easton ranked again

The Warren Easton football team picked up yet another national preseason ranking this week.

The Eagles are ranked No. 21 by NationHSFootball.com.

They are one of nine Louisiana teams ranked by the publication.

Warren Easton finished 10-3 in 2013 and reached the quarterfinals of the Class 4A playoffs before losing to eventual champion East Jefferson.

The bulk of that team returns, including receiver Tyron Johnson, a five-star recruit considered by many as the nation’s top receiver.

The Eagles are one of nine teams from Louisiana and five from the Greater New Orleans area in the rankings.

The other Louisiana ranked teams were: (26) Acadiana; (29) West Monroe; (34) Calvary Baptist; (53) Destrehan; (61) Rummel; (63) Curtis; (65) Landry-Walker and (89) University Lab.

Easton is also ranked 14th nationally by USA Today.

Four schools to play up

The Louisiana High School Athletic Association released the official list of schools that have elected to play up in classification this football season.

Only four schools chose to play up, all going from Division II to Division I.

The schools playing up are John Curtis, Evangel Christian, St. Thomas More and Teurlings Catholic.

The changes are for football only. No teams in Division III or Division IV changed classifications.

With the changes, there will now be 12 teams in Division I and 12 teams in Division II.

To submit items for the high school notebook, email Rod Walker at rwalker@theadvocate.com or call (504) 615-3744.

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