LHSAA grants Jackson Parish appeal to stay as “non-select” schools

The first part of the announcement by LHSAA director Eddie Bonine was well received by the athletic departments at Jonesboro-Hodge, Quitman and Weston High Schools. The second that was in regard to the post season playoff brackets for this year was shocking! 

Finally setting the parameters for competition for the 2022-23 athletic school year, the LHSAA granted approvals to the appeals of 26 schools, who had been designated as “select” schools back in June. The three Jackson Parish schools were in that group meaning that all JHHS, Quitman and Weston are now once again designated as “non-select” schools.

“I am very happy with the decision,” said JHHS Athletic Director and Head Football Coach Terrance Blankenship. “In reality thought it was the right thing to do as you can’t get more “public” than all three of our parish schools.”

What created the move in the first place was a new definition adopted by the LHSAA of what a “select” school and “non-select” school was. Instead of the general acceptance of a “select” school being a private school and a “non-select” school being a public school the LHSAA reclassified all “select” schools as being those who were private, charter,  or what caused the largest number of schools to be moved, those who had open enrollments such as what Jackson Parish has. 

The change in terminology was designed to make the two classifications more equal in number. This was accomplished in the end as even after the appeal process te “non-select” schools now number 217 or 52.93% of all LHSAA member schools while the “select” schools now number 193 or 47.07% of all schools. 

BOMBSHELL ANNOUNCEMENT! It was the second part of the announcement that created such an uproar. In a landmark decison that had a bombshell effect all over the state, the LHSAA decided instead of the 7 classes of “non-select” schools and five divisions of “select” schools there will now be just eight classes total, four non-select and four select.

In regard to the post season in football, the non-select playoffs will include 28 teams while the select playoffs will feature 24 participants. In girls and boys basketball, the non-select playoffs will feature 32 teams while the select playoffs will include 28 teams and in softball and baseball, the non-select playoffs will feature 32 teams while the select playoffs will include 24 teams in each of the classes.

What has caused the most discussion is where all the schools in the state ended up in each of the divisions. This was especially true in Jackson Parish where now all three schools will be in the same division for the majority of sports. 

Did you ever think that Quitman and Weston would be in the same district with Jonesboro-Hodge and Winnfield? It could not only be a possibility but a real probability unless the LHSAA changes directions in the January meetings. That is when all  membership schools will get a chance to voice their opinions and a final decision on the 2023 athletic calendar and district realignments will take place. 

For a complete listing of every school in the LHSAA and the divisions they compete in for each sport go to LHSAA.com


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