1, Class 3A St. James (10-0) is the only area No. 1 seed, but that is ... No problem.
The seeding position for most of the Baton Rouge area’s top teams puts them in striking distance. It starts with No. 2 Catholic High (10-0) in Division I. University (third, Division II), Ascension Catholic (third, Division IV), White Castle (third, 1A) Madison Prep (fourth, Class 3A) and East Ascension (fourth, Class 5A) all are where they need to be. Any time you get seeded in the top four you have an edge. Got to believe No. 5 Zachary in 5A is OK with their spot too.
2, Let’s hear it for all-local match-ups.
No. 28 Live Oak (6-4) at No. 5 Zachary (7-2)
No. 24 Brusly (5-5) travels to No. 9 Donaldsonville (7-3)
No. 12 McKinley (1-9) at No. 5 Scotlandville (7-3)
3, Tough draws.
Ascension Catholic (9-0) is seeded third in Division IV and faces Riverside Academy (3-7) which just beat No. 8 seed Country Day and pushed No. 6 Southern Lab to the limit.
Loranger (10-0) is the third seed in Class 3A and hosts No. 30 Baker (5-4), a team that has taken some lumps in 7-3A but is better than the record indicates. The Buffaloes also went on the road a year ago in the opening round and won.
Central (8-2) is seeded ninth in Class 5A and hosts No. 24 East St. John (6-4) had to forfeit its first three games, so this team is better than seedings advertise. ESJ coach Brandon Brown, previously head coach at St. Helena, brought back legendary coach Larry Dauterive to call plays.
4, Beyond round one
Both The Dunham School (9-1), at No. 5, and fourth-seeded Isidore Newman draw Division III byes this week. That means the Tigers travel to New Orleans to play the Greenies and QB Arch Manning the following week in the quarterfinals.
When the last time a local team played a Manning at quarterback for Newman? When Northeast High beat Peyton Manning and Newman in the 1993. The Vikings, then coached by former Super Bowl MVP Doug Williams, lost to Haynesville and its legendary coach the following week.
5, Welcome to the party, Ascension Christian, Istrouma, and Mentorship Academy.
Ascension Christian (3-7) has opted not to play for district honors in many of its LHSAA football years and therefore has not been eligible for the playoffs. But the Lions are in and they like to throw the ball and will face another pass-oriented team in Division IV top seed Vermilion Catholic (9-1)
Sure, Istrouma (4-6) is a No. 32 seed and has to go to Class 4A No. 1 Lakeshore (10-0). But getting there in your first varsity season since 2012 is notable, along with four wins in their last five games.
Mentorship (5-5) had a huge win over Baker in Week 9. This Class 3A program had just one win on the field prior to this season. Traveling to McDonogh 35 coached by legendary coach Wayne Reese won’t be easy. But this is one the Sharks should relish and go all-in on.
6, Did you know?
White Castle (6-3) has made its way quietly to the No. 3 seed spot in 1A. This is WCHS’ highest seeding spot since winning the Class 1A title in 2010, a team led by former LSU player Ronald Martin.
St. Michael (6-4) is seeded 12th in Division II and travels to No. 5 St. Louis Catholic (7-2) in Lake Charles seeking the first playoff win in school history.