Madison Prep and Tara High will open district play this week with a few players on the sideline after sanctions handed out by the Louisiana High School Athletic Association because of an altercation that took place late in their nondistrict game last week.

One MPA player is suspended for fighting and three more must sit out because they left the bench, said LHSAA assistant executive director Keith Alexander, who said Tara has three players suspended.

“Most of this was because players left the bench,” Alexander said. “They were not involved in a fight in any way, but based on our rules they must sit out the next game. It’s tough enough for officials to handle 22 players on the field, so even when a player enters the field wanting to help break up a fight it’s not a good thing. That needs to be done by the coaches and the officials.”

The LHSAA does not release the names of players suspended. Alexander also was unable to provide the numbers of the players suspended.

Tara (2-3) takes on Belaire (2-3) in a District 6-4A opener at 7 p.m. Friday at Olympia Stadium. Madison Prep (4-1) hosts Christian Life (2-3) at 6:30 p.m. Saturday for a District 6-1A opener at McKinley High.

“We’ll accept whatever punishment the LHSAA has for us,” Madison Prep coach Michael Roach said. “We’ll have one starter that won’t play, but that’s OK. This is a lesson learned.”

Acadiana altercation

The LHSAA has told Northside-Lafayette and Westgate-New Iberia that at least seven players from their teams will miss Week 6 games because of an altercation that took place with four minutes left in Friday’s game. And Alexander said that number could increase.

Northside was credited with a 38-12 victory in District 5-4A action, but the game was not completed after a fight broke out with about four minutes left after an NHS touchdown.

Alexander was waiting for additional reports, which could lead to added suspensions.

LSD update

Louisiana School for the Deaf lost its showdown with Mississippi School for the Deaf 40-26 a couple of weeks ago, but has a 4-1 record going into a 2 p.m. Saturday game against Alabama School for the Deaf in Talladega, Ala.

Justin Flannery ran for 185 yards on 13 carries and scored three TDs for the War Eagles in a 40-26 win over Family Christian last week. Flannery also had two interceptions and returned one for a TD.

Crowded at top

Catholic High is one of four teams that received first-place votes in the composite-all classes boys cross country poll released by the Louisiana Track & Field Coaches Association.

Class 3A John Curtis is ranked No. 1 and had five first-place votes but is just one point ahead of Jesuit. Catholic is third and got one first-place vote, while St. Paul’s is fourth and got two first-place votes. A total of 11 points separate the top four teams.

Mandeville tops the girls poll. The Skippers got seven first-place votes and are four points ahead of St. Joseph’s Academy, which grabbed the other three first-place votes.