Can we call the 2021 football finals a party of parity?
This is how I see the LHSAA football title games ahead of Saturday’s 5A final between Zachary and Ponchatoula at the LHSAA Prep Classic.
Anyone who follows high school football in Louisiana for more than a minute knows that the talent pool is rich and diverse. However, talent doesn’t always translate into competitive league games.
Questions about the strength and balance of competition in each class have abounded since the LHSAA’s selection / non-selection split in 2013.
There were a lot of breakouts and lopsided games early in the playoffs. However, aside from Southern Lab’s 38-14 victory over Ouachita Christian in Division IV – which was closer than the score suggests – the selected and unselected finals were thrilling, matching the playoff finals.
The biggest margin of victory outside the Division IV final was 13 points – Homer’s 41-28 victory over Logansport in 1A on Saturday.
Division I Catholic High and Class 3A Sterlington were the only seeds to win all eight games before Game 5A. Class 2A Amite and Division III St. Charles Catholic shocked the defending champions.
Game 4A between No.3 Warren Easton and No.5 Westgate was perhaps the best show of the balance of power, especially with Westgate winning out over New Orleans Powers Karr and Easton in the consecutive weekends.
Of course, not everyone had a happy ending with a win. But the way the season ended says a lot about football in Louisiana.
The power of kittens
LSU’s Damone Clark, Tyrion Davis-Price and Kardell Thomas were among the touchdown contingent cheering on their alma mater, Southern Lab, in the Kittens’ victory over Ouachita Christian in the Division IV title game on Friday.
Afterwards, Southern Lab coach Darrell Asberry said it was great to have the trio on the sidelines.
âThey are part of the family and they are always welcome,â he said.
It was also the second championship of sorts for Asberry. A former Jackson State quarterback, he is part of the JSU Saturday broadcast team for the Southwestern Athletic Conference champions.
Simon joins the Grambling team
Another former Southern Lab star John Simon joins Hue Jackson’s Grambling team as wide receivers coach. Simon, who played at Louisiana Tech and played for the Tennessee Titans, has been in the college’s assistant coaching ranks for several years.
Most recently, Simon was on the Memphis staff. He returned to Louisiana after last season and resides in Shreveport. His sons played for another Division IV powerhouse, Calvary Baptist, this fall.
Nominations from all states
Baton Rouge area football coaches are reminded that the deadline for submitting nominations for all-state football teams to the LSWA is 4 p.m. Monday.
Send applications to Robin Fambrough at [email protected] Submit the height and weight of all named players, along with full stats. All applicants must be first team selections in all districts.