Vidalia High, Ferriday High, Monterey High and Delta Charter School will be competing this school year as select schools in football, basketball, baseball and softball.
At its annual LHSAA membership meeting last week, the executive committee voted 16-5 to redefine what should be considered as a select school, per bylaw 4.4.4.
According to the LHSAA, the new definition of select schools is now lab schools, magnet schools, schools with magnet components and charter schools.
“The only thing I can figure is the part about magnet component since we have Concordia Parish Academy,” said Vidalia High principal Bernie Cooley. “Even though it’s not a magnet school, it’s a magnet program. But I have no idea in this part of the world how they came up with us being a select school.”
Cooley was part of a group that met with the LHSAA after the organization ruled students at Concordia Parish Academy could not compete on sports teams at Vidalia High or Ferriday High.
The LHSAA agreed and changed that rule back to allowing those students to compete at Vidalia and Ferriday.
“You win one battle and have to fight four more,”
“We’re going to fight it,” said Vidalia High Athletic Director Damus Smith. “We don’t have open enrollment. We don’t get anything from CPA. I can’t see putting all three parish schools in select because of that.”
Following the vote, parishes have until June 22 to change its open-enrollment policy and keep teams in non-select brackets should they choose, and this new definition goes into affect July 1.
All three parish public schools are appealing. The LHSAA stated it will have rulings on appeals in July.
“I don’t like what they are doing,” said Monterey Athletic Director Cary Shively. “They are trying to force an issue that most schools do not even want.”
Last November, the LHSAA moved Delta Charter to District 4-1A for 2022-23 and 2023-24 in the latest LHSAA proposal.
The Storm were moved from District 2-1A with Cedar Creek, Lincoln Prep, Ouachita Christian, River Oaks and St. Frederick to a district with Block, Delhi, Delhi Charter, Sicily Island and Tensas.
“I know there are a lot of upset people right now,” said Delta Charter School principal Jimmy Comeaux. “They basically passed this motion without talking to their constituents. In our situation, we don’t pick and choose who comes to our school. I like the way it was. It would be better if they could just enforce the rules regarding schools recruiting. But I know they don’t have the personnel for that. I think it’s just a way of trying to get public and private back together again. It’s going to be another heated topic. Changing the definition of select is not the answer.”
“I thought we were rid of those guys,” Delta Charter head football coach Blake Wheeler joked. “We’re just going to have to rise up and take the challenge.”
Vidalia head football coach Michael Norris said his team will have to adapt.
“We can be competitive in our district,” Norris said. “It’s going to get tougher in the playoffs.”
Ferriday head football coach Cleothis Cummings said he and his coaches will continue preparing the team for the 2022 season and let principal Shannon Doughty and athletic director Lisa Abron handle the appeal process.
“It’s just another case of overcoming adversity,” Cummings said. “It’s just another obstacle.”