Photos: McKinley struggles against St. Amant, Woodlawn shrugs off Belaire in Baton Rouge area prep football _lowres

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Scotlandville head coach Robert Valdez coaches the Hornets against Zachary, Friday, October 9, 2015, at Zachary High School in Zachary, La.

Scotlandville High School football coach Robert Valdez is one of the finalists set to interview for the head football coach/athletic director job at St. James on Monday.

Valdez, who led the Class 5A Hornets to a 10-2 record last fall, called the decision to apply for the job at St. James a family decision. Valdez and his family are longtime residents of Gramercy, which is just minutes from St. James.

“I have to say, first of all, that there is nothing wrong with Scotlandville,” Valdez said. “I have a great situation and a very supportive administration at Scotlandville. This is something I needed to do for my family. Sometimes, you have to think about being the husband and the dad first. My wife teaches at Lutcher Elementary. I’d be roughly 10 minutes from home and would be able to bring both my daughters to school with me.”

Valdez and former Central coach Keith Menard of Central Lafourche are the finalists for the job, which opened when Dwain Jenkins moved from St. James to become head coach at Lutcher earlier this month. Jenkins’ move came less than two months after the Wildcats finished as the Class 3A nonselect runner-up to parish rival Lutcher.

University High coach Chad Mahaffey was listed among the top applicants, but he withdrew his name from a longer list of potential finalists.

Valdez took the Scotlandville job in late July and led the Hornets to their best season since restarting its football program more than a decade ago. He started his head coaching career with one year at McKinley and then compiled a 60-29 mark at West St. John in seven seasons, including a runner-up finish in Class 1A in 2011.

Menard has been head coach at CLHS for three years. Menard’s other head coaching stints were at Rayne, Sacred Heart-Ville Platte, Many and Catholic-New Iberia.

“This was a no-brainer for me. … It was something I had to consider,” Menard said. “I’ve got a great situation where I am — no question. But you’re talking about a school with great facilities and the potential to be very good every year.”

All-district, all-state

The Advocate seeks all-district teams for girls and boys basketball, along with nominations for the Louisiana Sports Writers Association’s all-state basketball teams.

All-district teams should be submitted by Wednesday. All-state nominations are due Friday. Email nominations to Robin Fambrough at

All-Metro soccer meetings

All-Metro boys soccer teams will be selected during two Monday meetings at the Baton Rouge Soccer office. Coaches in Divisions I and II meet at 7 p.m., followed by a meeting for coaches in Divisions III and IV at 8 p.m.

For more information, contact All-Metro coordinator Rudy Valenciano at

7-on-7 tourney returns

Adidas and Airo/Louisiana Football Coaches Association’s Louisiana 7v7 state championship will be held in Ascension Parish for the second straight year.

A news conference to formally announce the event is set for 6 p.m. Wednesday at St. Amant. It was hosted by East Ascension last season.

An East Region tourney is set for June 15-16 at St. Amant. St. Thomas More will host the West Region event on the same dates, and the four teams from each regional will meet June 17 at St. Amant.

Defending champion McDonogh 35 is part of the 64-team field.

Hoops milestone

Bethany Christian senior Josiah Marshall finished his career with 1,051 points. Marshall scored 568 points, including 24 in his final game, an ACEL state tournament loss to Mount Olive earlier this month.