The LHSAA’s executive committee scratched two major items off its end of the year to-do list Thursday.
Committee members finished a review of the agenda for the January convention in the morning. The final two-year classification plans for basic districts and sports played in divisions were approved in the afternoon, concluding two days of meetings at the LHSAA office.
There were two key changes from the final basic classification plan posted on the LHSAA website last week. The first, in Class 1A, shifted local teams between three districts. The other, in Class 4A, combined Shreveport’s District 1-4A and Monroe’s 2-4A for football only. The plans go into effect in 2019-20.
The 4A quandary of having only three Monroe-area schools, Bastrop, Neville and Franklin Parish, prompted lots of debate and several motions before a substitute motion put in place of another substitute motion by LHSCA representative Freddie Harrison of Lake Charles College Prep passed by a 10-8 margin.
“We worked to be as transparent as possible throughout this process,” LHSAA Executive Director Eddie Bonine said. “We sent out our plans to all the schools along with the suggestions and plans the schools sent to us. Both changes that passed today came from the floor, not a plan that was submitted.
“The three (classification) meetings were open to all schools. Had those schools in Shreveport known that what was approved was an option I suspect they would have come to this meeting.”
The committee debated the merits of putting Districts 1 and 2 or Districts 2 and 3 together. District 3-4A schools from the Alexandria area were in attendance and argued against being placed with the Monroe schools.
“Every time we classify there is always an area in either the corner or the middle of the state where it is tough to find a solution,” LHSAA President Bruce Bundy said. “We discussed several options and listened to the schools who spoke. There was more than one motion made before we settled on combining Districts 1 and 2. Unfortunately, there is no way to make everyone happy."
Class 1A changes proposed by Catholic-PC were accepted. They send CHSPC back to Acadiana-based District 5-1A and move two other teams from 7-1A, Thrive Academy and The Church Academy, into 6-1A with Central Private, Slaughter Community Charter and Southern Lab.
One key point in the morning convention agenda review was Assistant Director Adam MacDowell’s formal pitch of a his proposal that would alter the cross country season and championships.
MacDowell’s plan hinges on reducing cross country from seven classes to four divisions, making the LHSAA meet one that features eight races — four each for boys and girls. MacDowell that would allow the event to be moved up to the first Saturday in November.