Now that both Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA basketball tournaments are in the books for 2019, the next logical step is to look at which sites plan to bid on the tournaments for the next two years.
The two most recent sites, Lake Charles and Alexandria, should figure prominently in whatever happens next. Both cities have made it clear they plan submit requests for proposals to host both the boys and girls tourneys.
Hammond, a long-time host of the girls tourney, also is mentioned among the sites showing interest in hosting at least one tourney. Changes approved by LHSAA principals in January would take the select schools out of championship events in the sports that are split along select/nonselect lines. That change would return the LHSAA events, including basketball, to pre-split formats for football, basketball, baseball and softball.
In basketball, that means a return to seven basic classes for semifinals and finals. A much lighter work load than the past three years that required sites to host semifinals and finals for 12 classes/divisions.
Lake Charles is the only site to host the boys/girls tourneys on back-to-back weeks. That happened in 2014 and 2015. Alexandria did host the finals-only boys/girls tourney in 1982.
Each bid will be considered on its own merit and it will be interesting to see which bid or bids the LHSAA executive committee opts for. It also will be interesting to see what happens with the select playoffs/championships.
There has been talk about select schools possibly reversing course and seeking a tourney site for boys/girls basketball. That could put another event out there for bid. But only if this desire for a select tourney moves beyond a talking stage and is approved by select schools.
Remember, a select tourney for basketball was approved in January 2018, something that was displaced by the complete break of select championships that calls for games to be played on home sites of the higher seed as it is written now.
Of course, fewer things about the LHSAA seem etched in stone these days. Once again, we will have to see how this all develops.
A humbling honor
The induction ceremony for the Louisiana High School Sports Hall of Fame is something I will be honored to be part of. Tickets are on sale for the event set for April 2 at the Crowne Plaza.
I am fortunate to be part of the induction class that also includes official/administrator Keith Alexander, former Acadiana football coach Ted Davidson, Episcopal track/cross country coach Claney Duplechin, St. Amant soccer star Jason Garey, St. Charles Catholic football coach Frank Monica, five-time Olympian Danielle Scott-Arruda and long-time football coach James Waguespack.
Great people and a great night to celebrate. Here is a link to the ticket order form: http://cdn.lhsaa.org/uploads/images/2019_Hall_of_Fame_Ticket_Order_Form.pdf.
Yes, it’s a Brees
Another event looming on the horizon is The Advocate’s annual Star of Stars event honoring the top high school athletes in the Baton Rouge area. New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is our special guest speaker.
The Star of Stars ceremony is set for 7 p.m. May 20 at the L’Auberge Casino & Hotel’s Baton Rouge Event Center. Early-bird pricing of $40 per ticket remains until April 1 and here is a link: https://neworleans.boldtypetickets.com/events/83903639/the-advocates-star-of-star-sports-awards.