Bonine: Single-weekend LHSAA football championship format “here to stay”

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NEW ORLEANS – With nine games in three days at the Allstate Sugar Bowl LHSAA Prep Classic beginning at noon Thursday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, it will be a busy week for LHSAA executive director Eddie Bonine and his staff.

Speaking at the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation Quarterback Club Tuesday at Rock ‘n’ Bowl, Bonine said he was pleased to return the football championships to a one-weekend format, but with one concern.

“The conversation was always, who’s going to play that noon game?” Bonine said. “Going forward, we’re going to rotate those games through.

“There’s never a win-win. I think this format is here to stay. I’m glad we’ve come back to this.”

In the first year of the select/non-select split in 2013, the nine championships were played over one weekend, but the last three years, the four select finals were played on one day and the five non-select finals were played the following weekend.

Bonine said that proposals are on the table at next month’s convention to partially undo the split championships.

“We did have a couple of proposals that would address the present select/non-select format in the sports of basketball, baseball and softball,” Bonine said. “There are proposals to bring those back together.”

Another proposal, which Bonine spearheaded, would change the re-classification cycle from the current two years to four years.

“It seems we have the same 25-30 schools on the bubble (for changing classifications),” said Bonine, who has studied the process since he moved to Louisiana three years ago.

Bonine added that the four-year concept would allow schools to schedule non-district football contracts for twice as long and the abliity to revisit the process after two years would remain in place.

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Lenny Vangilder

Lenny Vangilder

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Lenny has been involved in college athletics since the early 1980s, when he began working Tulane University sporting events while still attending Archbishop Rummel High School. He continued that relationship as a student at Loyola University, where he graduated in 1987. For the next 11 years, Vangilder worked in the sports information offices at Southwestern Louisiana (now UL-Lafayette) and Tulane;…

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