Of all the public schools in Shreveport that received the Select designation this year by vote of the LHSAA executive committee, Northwood principal Shannon Wall believes her school stood out.
“While the adults are playing games in Baton Rouge, our kids are the losers. And there’s no reason for that,” Wall said. last meeting.”
LHSAA executive director Eddie Bonine said Northwood was not targeted, but did not elaborate.
The LHSAA committee voted 16-5 in July to change the definition of a Select school to read: “Select means private or public schools that have a state or parish approved definition as a laboratory school, magnet school(s) with one or more magnet components, approved charter schools, parish-wide approved open enrollment, parochial schools based on Recovered State District (RSD) applications, schools tuition-based and/or any established academic school and/or retention-based. ”
Once the measure was passed, the LHSAA couldn’t wait for a vote in January from the full board of directors, according to Bonine.
“When the LHSAA Executive Committee approved the new definition of Selected/Non-Selected Member School designation, the postseason formats in place were not administratively feasible and did not promote fairness. play or equitable participation,” Bonine told The Times.
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All schools in Caddo Parish, including Northwood, have or have had some form of magnetic component which causes them to fall into the Select designation. Wall insists that the component of his school that allows students outside of Northwood’s attendance school to attend has been cut. But the Select designation will be in place until at least January, so the Falcons will have to play in the “private” school arena for one season.
“Obviously our team will line up and play whoever it is and we don’t talk about this issue with the kids,” Wall said. “But it’s a shame for our small community where our children grew up playing youth football together in high school. They set goals, including playing for a state championship. But now we’re in a division we don’t belong to.
Caddo Schools officials appealed the LHSAA’s decision several months ago, but to no avail. Not only was Northwood left in Select, but it was placed in Division I against the largest schools in the state, many of which have twice the student population found at the Blanchard School. Caddo sporting director Anthony Tisdale was quick in his response.
“We are disappointed as we believe Select’s definition does not apply to schools that have appealed,” Tisdale said. “Our players and coaches will continue to compete every week.”
Northwood and North Caddo earned first-round byes and will play their opening “Select” matches on Friday. The Falcons will play at St. Paul’s, a private school in Hammond, while North Caddo will play at Parkview Baptist, also a private school. Titans coach Johnny Kavanaugh said his team will play any team they are told to play.
“It’s definitely not my job to decide what’s right,” he said. “Our kids are just happy to keep playing football, and I wonder if they even know what Select/Non-Select means. I think sometimes we forget that we’re talking about kids who love to play a game – just love to compete.
The new divisional format will be reviewed at the January LHSAA meeting and may be canceled at that time, according to John LeBlanc, LHSAA executive committee member and Loyola principal.
“It will only be safe for the first year,” LeBlanc said earlier. “If it is rejected in January, we will have to find another solution.”
Jimmy Watson covers sports in the Shreveport-Bossier area. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @JimmyWatson6.