Jonesboro-Hodge won their appeal to the LHSAA to be moved into a new district while Quitman lost theirs, well, sort of. Both parish schools received the decision this past week along with the second plan for redistricting issued by the LHSAA for the 2022-2023 school years. There is still one more opportunity for schools to submit another appeal that must be received by the LHSAA by Monday, November 29th.
In the original district plan that would be in place for the next two years, Jonesboro-Hodge had remained in district 1-2A along with North Caddo, D’Arbonne Woods and Lakeside but three additonal Shreveport area schools were added. This brought the number of schools in the district from Caddo Parish to four, which led JHHS administrative officials to ask to be moved to district 3-2A, citing undue travel expenses and burdens on the student athletes.
The district that JHHS has now been placed in is comprised of holdovers Lakeview, Many, Red River (Coushatta) and Winnfield, along with new comer Mansfield, which dropped from class 3A to 2A. JHHS Athletic Director and head football coach Terrance Blankenship was happy with the decision, not only because of the “official” reasons the school appeled, but also because of the traditional rivalries that will now be re-established.
“We have a long history of playing these schools,” said Blankenship. “I am especially glad to see us and Winnfield back in the same district as now that game will take on even more importance other than just a “rivalry” game.”
Quitman had also appealed the original redistricting plan but they had asked to stay in district 2B instead of being moved with fellow former 2B schools Weston and Simsboro to district 1B where they would join Doyline and Castor.
The reason for the appeal was that the “new” district 2B would be comprised of holdover Choudrant, Downsville Charter and Forest, both who had been moved from district 3B. Quitman had asked to be moved back to 2B in order to make the athletic competition, especially in regard to track and field, be more fair.
The way it was proposed, Choudrant would have the only track program in the district giving the entire team a direct line to regional qualification. Meanwhile Quitman, Weston, Castor and Doyline, all who has won state track titles in the last several years, would fight in district just to get a few qualified for regionals. The appeal panel agreed that a change must be made but it was Simsboro that got moved back instead of Quitman.
“I am glad to see that at least they listened and acted on the reason that we appealed the original district plan,” said Quitman principal Billy Carter.
While the new plan didn’t totally alleviate the glut of traditional premier, Class B, track and field teams in one district it provide an advantage for local fans. If Quitman had been moved to 2B, then the Wolverines and Weston would have been in seperate districts, elimating some of the importance of the local rivalry.
In relation to other area schools, the plan to reclassify Dodson and Saline back to Class C and compete in district 2C along with Atlanta, Calvin, Central-Jonesville and Georgetown remained in place. Cedar Creek and Lincoln Prep won their appeal as well. The Cougars got to remain in district 2-1A, after originally being placed in district 1-1A, while Lincoln Prep’s request to move out of 1-1A into 2-1A was granted. St. Frederick, Ouachita Christiana and River Oaks, all from Monroe, make up the realigned district. Oak Grove moved up to Class 2A where they will compete in district 2-2A.
There is still one more opportunity for schools to submit another appeal. The petition must be received by the LHSAA by Monday, November 29th and the submitting Principal has to appear before the LHSAA Classification Committee on Wednesday, December 1st.
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