The quest for boys state championship begin on Monday in Lake Charles. Here's your A-Z Guide to everything you need to know about the teams in the greater New Orleans area who will be making the trip west on Interstate 10 looking to bring a title back home.
Another year, another nine teams. Just like last season, nine area teams made it. This year's field of local teams are Country Day, Crescent City, De La Salle, Landry-Walker, Lusher, McDonogh 35, Riverside, Sophie B. Wright, and St. Paul's.
Back-to-back. Local teams Country Day, Crescent City, De La Salle and Landry-Walker are going for repeats.
Country Day. Cajuns are reigning Division III champs. They got back to Lake Charles despite graduating Romin Williams, who was the overall MVP of last year's state tournament.
De La Salle. Cavaliers beat U-High to win first state title since 1986 a year ago. Cavs get rematch with U-High in Tuesday's semifinals.
Edwards. St. Paul's senior guard Parker Edwards was MVP in District 6-5A and has Wolves in unchartered territory.
Five or more. That's how many state titles the nine New Orleans boys teams will need to equal or surpass what the area girls teams did in Alexandria last week.
Gibson's proteges: Longtime coach Brian Gibson moved on from Landry-Walker to SUNO, but two of his former assistants have teams in Lake Charles. Wilfred Antoine took over at Landry-Walker, while Jason Bertrand is in charge at Sophie B. Wright.
House of champions. Bill Leahy of St. Paul's is trying to win a ring, just like his sister Gabby did last week in leading Christ Episcopal to a Division V championship.
In again. Country Day and Riverside are regulars at the state tournament. Cajuns making their 11th trip in 14 years. Rebels have been all nine years since Timmy Byrd has coached.
Jared and Javonte. The top two boys players in the state are both here. Riverside's Jared Butler (an Alabama signee) and Scotlandville's Javonte Smart (LSU).
Knocked out. The last four remaining Catholic League schools (Brother Martin, Holy Cross, Jesuit and St. Augustine) were knocked out in Friday's quarterfinals, meaning the league's title drought will continue. St. Aug was the last state champion from the Catholic League (2011).
Lusher Lions. Hunter Higgins has Lions making their first trip to the semis.
McDonogh 35. Roneagles, a No. 18 seed, are the lowest seeded team in any classification, to make it to Lake Charles.
New look De La Salle. The Cavs lost four starters from last year's team, but that hasn't stopped them from returning.
O. Perry Walker and Landry High School merged in 2013. The new school, Landry-Walker, has won three of four state titles since the merger and is looking to add another.
Pioneers. Crescent City was one of the biggest stories last season, winning a state championship in its first trip a year ago.
QBs. Riverside's Jordan Loving and Country Day's Justin Ibieta are among the two-sport stars in the field.
Riverside. Rebels are a tournament staple and have been the most dominant team in the area this season.
St.Paul's Wolves have never made it this far and will have to go through a Baton Rouge-heavy field of Catholic High and then either Scotlanvdille or McKinley.
Toughest slate. Lusher. Lions get No. 1 seed St. Thomas More in the Division II semis.
Uptown trio. Speaking of Lusher, the Lions are one of three uptown schools along with De La Salle and Sophie B. Wright chasing titles. Two uptown girls schools (Ursuline Academy and St. Katharine Drexel Prep) won last week.
Vaughn. Crescent City's Jonathan Vaughn will be key if Crescent City repeats.
Winning Warriors. Sophie B. Wright is riding a 10-game winning streak and has to beat Peabody, the last team it lost to, to get to the championship game.
X's and O's. Riverside coach Timmy Bird has 12 state titles under his belt (seven at Reserve Christian and five at Riverside) and has coached in the championship game 12 of past 13 years.
Young talent. Last season, Crescent City's Byron Joshua used the tournament as his coming out party, winning Most Outstanding Player honors.
Zwolle. The reigning Class B champs aren't from the New Orleans area, but because their name begins with the letter "Z", that's good enough for me.