Limits tested at McKinley volleyball jamboree _lowres

Advocate staff photo by APRIL BUFFINGTON -- Baton Rouge High volleyball players celebrate after scoring a point against Ascension Christian during the McKinley's jamboree last week at Louisiana School for the Deaf.

The first regular-season weekend of the high school sports season is about more than just football.

A 35-team volleyball tournament, along with the first cross country and swim meets help highlight the action.

“We’ve got two new teams from north Louisiana coming down for the tournament, and we’re excited about that,” Broadmoor assistant coach Everett Odom said. “What most coaches want to see is different lineups. A tournament this early gives you a chance to try different combinations.”

There will be plenty of combinations for the eighth annual South Louisiana Volleyball Invitational that begins at 4 p.m. Friday at Woodlawn and Baton Rouge High.

St. Michael the Archangel’s Bayou Boogie Invitational cross country meet kicks off the regular season for teams from Baton Rouge and south Louisiana on Saturday. Races begin at 8:30 a.m. at Highland Road Park.

Capital City Swim League action also begins Saturday with two meets scheduled at the Crawfish Aquatics pool. Here is a breakdown:

South Louisiana Invitational

Teams will be divided into seven pools for action Friday and Saturday. Pool play action runs through 9 p.m. Friday and resumes at 8 a.m. Saturday. The final is set for 6 p.m. Saturday.

First-year volleyball programs from Captain Shreve and Airline join the field that includes defending champion McGehee. Odom rates McGehee as the pretourney favorite.

“Because it’s so early, it’s hard to pick a favorite,” Odom said. “But I think McGehee has several players back from last year, and that should give them an advantage. You’ve got teams like Barbe, Zachary, St. Michael, St. Martinville, Sam Houston, Woodlawn, Baton Rouge High and Ben Franklin who should all be good.”

Bayou Boogie Invitational

A total of 473 varsity runners are set to make their 2015 debut at the annual St. Michael meet. An additional 560 junior high runners are registered.

Races begin at 8:30 a.m. with the three-mile girls varsity race. The three-mile boys varsity race is set for 9:15 a.m. Two junior high races and an open division race close the action.

The list of top teams entered includes host St. Michael, Catholic, St. Joseph’s Academy, Episcopal, Assumption, John Curtis, Fountainebleau, Menard and Mandeville.

CCSL meets

The Capital City Swim League’s Kickoff meets start at 8:15 a.m. at the Crawfish pool. The meets won’t include the 200- and 500-yard freestyles or the 200 individual medley. Teams are allowed unlimited entries in some events.

Central, Denham Springs, St. Michael, Walker, Christian Life, Episcopal, Scotlandville, University, Zachary, Brusly, Lutcher, Parkview Baptist and St. Amant are set to compete in the morning meet.

The second meet scheduled to begin at noon features Dunham, Lee, Plaquemine, St. James, St. Thomas Aquinas, West Feliciana, Catholic, St. Joseph’s Academy, Baton Rouge, Dutchtown, East Ascension and Runnels.