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LHSAA logo on the field after the second half of the LHSAA Class 1A football championship on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018, at Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, LA.

Sportswriters know a thing or two about deadlines, particularly meeting them by a specific time. Like many others, I’m waiting out the final hours of another key deadline for the LHSAA.

The LHSAA’s select schools have until 4:30 p.m. Thursday to submit answers to a one-question survey which asks whether they want to play their 2019 football title games in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Seems simple, right? But of course, few things are simple for the LHSAA whenever its select/nonselect split championships are involved. The January vote by member schools to allow select schools to host stand-alone title games in the split sports like football is the latest case in point.

Let me start by noting that no timetable has been set for the release of the select schools vote by the LHSAA. Loyola College Prep Principal John LeBlanc, the select-school member of the LHSAA’s executive committee, is conducting the survey and will submit the findings to the LHSAA.

I know what most of you are thinking. “This is a no-brainer, let the kids play in the Dome … it’s what they dream about it.” That is certainly my reaction.

But is it "common sense" or  “common cents." Sending a team to play at the Superdome is great but can be costly when hotels and meals are added to travel. It is also tough to get fans to games if you school is put in one of the early time slots. There are only so many primetime slots.

And there is also the coach vs. administrator point of view. The job of principals is to watch the bottom line, while coaches will probably tell you they would rather be coaching their line on the bottom floor of the Superdome.

The LHSAA is requiring unanimous approval of the move back to the Superdome by schools in each division. That makes sense with all that is at stake, but it may be a hard sell for any group over 50 in number on any topic. There are 69 select football schools and 108 select schools.

Three college sites are interested in hosting select school football title games if the Superdome is a no-go. But that fact may not be as important as two other points.

  • The LHSAA executive committee and others, including coaches, have expressed the strongest desire yet to unify school ssince the original split in 2013. Does this help or hurt those prospects?
  • And the LHSAA is in the final year of its lucrative contract with the Allstate Sugar Bowl, the title sponsor for all of its events. New Allstate Sugar Bowl CEO Jeff Hundley recently expressed concerns about the LHSAA’s split championships.

Should those factors serve as “blackmail” to force the select schools into the fold? They should not. But they are part of the ever-growing stack of baggage that goes with the LHSAA and the split.

Can the select/nonselect schools and the LHSAA get it together? Asking one more time.

Thrive nets forfeit

Though it did not come in the conventional manner, Class 1A Thrive Academy netted its first varsity football win.

The Bulldogs picked up a forfeit victory from Varnado. After VHS took a 40-0 win over the Thrive in Week 1, the LHSAA ruled that the Washington Parish school played an ineligible player in the contest. Thrive (1-1) is in its first year of varsity competition and travels to play Class 3A Glen Oaks (0-2) in Week 3.

Statistics … this week

The Advocate will publish local/area football leaders in Thursday’s editions. Schools who have not already done so and wish to be included, should submit two-game totals by using the link on our website www.theadvocate.com or by emailing rfambrough@theadvocate.com.

Statistics and standings for local/area teams will be published each Thursday during the regular season, based on statistics submitted by schools.

Holt commits to LSU

Parkview Baptist shortstop Brennan Holt announced his commitment to LSU via Twitter. Holt is a junior for the Eagles and is poised to join some elite company with the Tigers.

St. Amant’s Jason Williams and Andy Sheets along with Catholic High’s Austin Nola and Josh Smith are among the local players who have played shortstop for LSU. Zachary’s Collier Cranford and Cade Doughty are two LSU freshmen who were high school shortstops.

Email Robin Fambrough at rfambrough@theadvocate.com