By DOUG IRELAND, Journal Sports
If the initial figures released Wednesday by the Louisiana High School Athletic Association hold up, St. Mary’s and Lakeview could fit in the same Class 1A district in the next two school years.
Wednesday, the LHSAA posted enrollment figures that should dictate reclassification of some schools for 2024-25 and 2025-26. Schools submitted enrollment data for the LHSAA to assess and determine potential district alignments and postseason divisions.
Officials stressed Wednesday’s report is a first step in the process and that additional data and appeals could create adjustments from the projected reclassifications.
St. Mary’s reported enrollment of 118 (in high school) which would keep it in Class A during the regular season for district play. The Tigers compete in Select Division IV in the playoffs in the six “major” sports.
Lakeview’s enrollment was listed as 209 which will fall 21 short of the minimum to quality for Class 2A and would shift the Gators to Class A. They would compete in Non-Select Division IV in postseason.
Lakeview could petition the LHSAA to “play up” and remain in Class 2A if desired. Typically geographic factors to reduce travel are the chief motivation to “play up.”
Natchitoches Central, with enrollment listed at 1,140 is destined to retain its current Class 5A status, and will be the smallest school in 1-5A.
Principals have until noon Oct. 31 to file appeals to be considered by the LHSAA in a Nov. 2 meeting. Petitions to “play up” must also be filed by that deadline. Football powers Evangel and John Curtis are among schools that have traditionally opted to “play up” higher than enrollment would dictate.
A districting proposal will be issued by the LHSAA after the Nov. 2 meeting with a Nov. 13 session set for discussion. St. Mary’s and Lakeview could fit into a new district including Jonesboro-Hodge, which is dropping to Class A for the second time in four years.
Airline is the largest District 1-5A school with 1,866 students. Captain Shreve is next at 1,783, followed by Benton (1,491), Byrd (1,470), Haughton (1,332), Huntington (1,301), and Parkway (1,290) as the Shreveport-Bossier schools that seem settled in District 1-5A with NCHS.
Southwood should drop to 4A while Huntington is moving up from 4A.