LHSAA Bumps Local Schools to New Classifications
Five Acadiana schools and another that place in an Acadiana-based district will be moving to higher classifications next school year, while one Iberia Parish school will be dropping in classification.
The Louisiana High School Athletic Association released on Wednesday the school enrollment numbers submitted to them by its member institutions. Those enrollment numbers are used to determine what classifications in which each school will participate.
According to these preliminary figures and classifications, here are the schools and districts that will affected.
The Golden Bears are moving back to Class 5A after a seven-year stint in Class 4A. That run in Class 4A was highlighted by the Bears winning the 2018 state boys' basketball championship and the 2020 state football championship.
Carencro's bump up to 5A will mostly likely result in the Bears renewing rivalries with several old foes. Carencro will most likely reclaim its spot in District 3-5A, setting up annual contests against Acadiana, Lafayette, Comeaux, and New Iberia, as well as Lake Charles-area rivals Barbe, Sam Houston, and Sulphur. Southside, who joined the district in 2019, would also face Carencro annually if the LHSAA agrees to having a nine-team district.
There's always a chance the LHSAA could split up that district into two separate leagues in a similar manner to the way it did in the early 2010s, lumping Acadiana and Lafayette with the three Lake Charles schools together and putting the other the remaining four schools into their own district. However, recent history indicates that we'll see the LHSAA allow the Lafayette/Lake Charles district to operate with nine teams.
Washington-Marion may be a Lake Charles school, but their move from 4A to 3A will have an effect on the three Acadiana-based 4A districts.
Right now, Washington-Marion is in District 4-4A with Rayne, North Vermilion, Eunice, and LaGrange. Their exit from District 4-4A leaves the LHSAA with several different options for the league. One of them is to allow District 4-4A to carry on as a four-team league. The other options involve team shifts or district mergers. The LHSAA could move LaGrange to District 3-4A to replace Bolton, which is dropping to Class 3A. That would put LaGrange with DeRidder, Leesville, Peabody, and Tioga. After that, the LHSAA could merge what's left into District 3-4A into the other Acadiana-based 4A leagues. Those options include:
- Merging what's left of 4-4A into the Lafayette-centric District 5-4A or the St. Martin/St. Landry-based District 6-4A without moving any existing members of those districts. This would make either district an eight-team district.
- Putting Rayne and North Vermilion in District 5-4A, placing Eunice in District 6-4A, and moving Livonia from 6-4A to the Baton Rouge-based District 7. This would make both 5-4A and 7-4A seven-team districts, while leavign 6-4A as a five-team district.
- Moving Westgate to the Bayou Parish-based District 8-4A and merging what's left of District 4-4A with District 5-4A. This would create two seven-team districts while leaving District 6-4A as a five-team district.
The Lafayette Parish STEM academy is making the jump from 3A to 4A. The non-football school will almost certainly land in the same district as Northside, Teurlings, and St. Thomas More.
The Red Devils are moving back to Class 3A next fall. Geographically, the logical move for the LHSAA to make is to place Port Barre in District 5-3A with Church Point, Iota, Northwest, Mamou, Pine Prairie, and Ville Platte. However, with David Thibodaux moving out of District 6-3A, the LHSAA may move Port Barre to District 6 to maintain the status quo of six teams in both Districts 5 and 6.
The Tigers are dropping down a Class--from 2A to 1A. They will most likely wind up in District 8-1A with Vermilion Catholic, Highland Baptist, Hanson Memorial, Central Catholic, Centerville, and Covenant Baptist.
The Cameron Parish school is jumping from 1A to 2A. This will take them out of the district they shared with Basile, Elton, and Gueydan, among others. Grand Lake will probably fill the gap in District 6-2A left by Port Barre. That would put Grand Lake in the same district as Lafayette Christian Academy, Notre Dame, Lake Arthur, and Welsh.
Maybe the biggest shock in the enrollment numbers is Midland's jump from Class B to Class 2A. We've reached out to the school to find out if this is the result of a growing enrollment at the school or if it is because the school decided to play in a higher classification.