Nothing attracts attention to high school sports quite like a state championship event.
But on Monday, state championship events will be in the spotlight for different reasons as the LHSAA executive committee opens at annual summer meeting.
The awarding of two-year bids for championships in several sports, including baseball and basketball, is a key part of the two-day meeting that begins at 8 a.m. Monday at the LHSAA office.
Also scheduled is a discussion about the state LHSAA state wrestling tournament that was awarded to Bossier City’s CenturyLink Center in March, in light of the long time tournament director’s decision to step away from the tournament.
“When the committee met in March I had just started full time,” new LHSAA Executive Director Eddie Bonine said. “I observed a lot of what went on so this will be my first meeting to have a big role. We’ve got a lot of things to address.”
Bonine has a list of 22 points to discuss during his executive director’s time, including the state wrestling tourney awarded to Bossier City in a 13-5 vote in which Baton Rouge’s River Center placed second. Bonine said he has not yet signed the contract.
The tourney was previously held at the CenturyLink Center in 2011. Critics of the move cite the fact that approximately 80 percent of Louisiana’s wrestling schools are located along the I-10 corridor.
Tournament director James Ravannack’s decision to step away from the event will force the LHSAA to obtain much of the equipment needed for the event from vendors, adding to the cost.
Catholic High coach Tommy Prochaska, Brusly High coach Jimmy Bible and Live Oak High coach Chris Collier are among the coaches expected to address the committee.
Bonine’s points will include discussion on the LHSAA’s current labor plans involving the Louisiana High School Officials Association. The LHSOA has distributed contracts to member schools requiring pay raises in most sports. The contract distribution also contradicts the LHSAA’s bylaws.
Two-year championship bids for baseball, basketball, cheerleading, powerlifting, soccer and tennis are on the agenda.
The current host site, Sulphur, has the lone baseball bid. Shreveport’s Hirsch Coliseum is among the bidders for boys and girls basketball, cheerleading and powerlifting.
Southeastern in Hammond is among the girls basketball bidders. SLU success hosted the tourney until 2011. The current boys-girls site, Burton Coliseum in Lake Charles, is bidding on both basketball tournaments again.
Tad Gormley Stadium in New Orleans and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette have bids for soccer, while Monroe and Shreveport have bids for tennis.
Bonine also will make a legislative report, which will include a discussion on House Bill 457. The proposed legislation would relax freshman eligibility guidelines to allow eligibility at any school.