Karr in 4A and West St. John in 1A have earned top seeds in the state playoff pairings for nonselect schools announced Sunday by the Louisiana High School Athletic Association.
Although Lakeshore and Benton were 10-0, they earned the No. 2 and 3 seeds in 4A, respectively. Karr’s top billing was not shocking, as the reigning state champions went 9-1 and enter the playoffs on a seven-game winning streak that included a pair of victories against teams ranked No. 1 in the state in 4A at the time.
Those victories, 40-6 against Warren Easton on Thursday, and 35-20 agaist McDonogh 35 in Week 6, cemented Karr's role as favorites to advance to the Class 4A finals Dec. 9 in the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Prep Classic at the Mercedes Benz Superdome.
“For some people it may be surprising, but it’s not surprising to me,’’ Karr coach Brice Brown said of his team's top billing. “Our preparation has been outstanding this season starting with an offseason coming off of the state championship.
Karr's lone loss was a 28-26 decision to undefeated De La Salle, the top-seeded team in the Division II playoffs for Select Schools, in Week 3.
Armed with a 23-1 record over the past two seasons and another District 9-4A championship, the Cougars play host to No. 32 Buckeye (5-5) in the first round at 7 p.m. Thursday at Behrman Stadium.
“Even though we lost to De La Salle, that loss made us a little bit better," Brown said. "It was kind of a gut check. We’re usually the team that claws back and finishes, and De La Salle gave us a dose of our own medicine. But that gave us a reality check in the end. It made us focus and not take things for granted.’’
West St. John (8-2, 4-0 District 8-1A) earned the top seed in Class 1A over a pair of 9-1 teams in No. 2 Oak Grove and No. 3 Kentwood.
The Rams won their final six games to draw a first-round bye. They will play host to the winner between No. 16 East Iberville (5-5) and No. 17 Delhi (3-7).
“The guys have fought hard,’’ said WSJ coach Brandon Walters, in his third season in charge of the Rams. “We’ve been at it a long time. It’s a non-stop grind. But the guys have put in the work. The staff has worked really hard to keep everything on track, and we’re seeing the benefits of it now.
“The team is playing really well. I still think we have a lot more that we can get better at, to be more consistent. But we don’t have room now for any mistakes.’’
Same goes for all of the teams vying for berths in the Prep Classic’s nine championship games over three days in the Superdome on Dec. 7-9.
Undefeated Covington earned the No. 2 seed behind West Monroe (10-0) in Class 5A. Coach Greg Salter’s Lions earned the highest seed among 11 area teams in the 5A playoffs, the state’s highest classification.
Destrehan is seeded eighth, followed by No. 10 Hahnville, No. 13 John Ehret, No. 14 Landry-Walker, No. 16 Slidell, No. 21 Chalmette, No. 26 East St. John, No. 27 East Jefferson, No. 28 Northshore and No. 29 Mandeville.
Landry-Walker is the reigning Class 5A state champion.
No. 4 Easton, No. 9 Salmen, No. 10 McDonogh 35, No. 16 Carver, No. 22 Helen Cox, No. 27 Franklinton, No. 28 Belle Chasse and No. 31 Pearl River joined Karr and Lakeshore in the 32-team Class 4A bracket.
Lakeshore will play host to Pearl River at 7 p.m. Friday in a rematch of their District 8-4A regular-season meeting won 47-20 by the Titans.
St. James, Bogalusa and KIPP Renaissance earned the No. 4, 23 and 28 seeds, respectively, in a Class 3A bracket topped by Sterlington.
South Plaquemines, the No. 11 seed, was the lone area team to advance to the Class 2A bracket that is headed by No. 1 Welsh.