Catholic League shuffle: Chalmette, Ben Franklin in, Karr out in first draft of LHSAA re-districting
For the fourth time in its history and the first time in a decade, Chalmette may be headed back to the Catholic League.
Chalmette was placed in District 9-5A in the first draft of re-districting for the 2024-25 and 2025-26 school years, according to a document sent to schools Monday by the Louisiana High School Athletic Association.
Decisions on districting are not yet final and schools have until Thursday to submit a “petition,” or appeal, to their district placement, according to a memo sent to principals by LHSAA executive director Eddie Bonine. Principals seeking to appeal must appear in person at a Nov. 13 meeting of the LHSAA’s Classificiation Committee.
Chalmette has been the longest-tenured non-Catholic school in the district. The Owls spent all of the 1970s and 1980s in the league, then rejoined in two-year stints from 2007-09 and 2011-13.
Ben Franklin would also join the league for the first time, but the Falcons have not typically competed for district honors in football.
Edna Karr, which claimed the last two 9-5A football titles after joining the league prior to the 2022-23 school year, would leave the league to join new Class 5A member Warren Easton in District 8-5A, which also includes the six Jefferson Parish public schools in 5A – Bonnabel, East Jefferson, John Ehret, Higgins, Riverdale and West Jefferson. Like Easton, Higgins and Riverdale are moving from 4A to 5A beginning next year.
District 6-5A, which stretches the I-12 corridor from Slidell to Hammond, would grow to nine teams. Salmen now has a 5A enrollment and is slated to join the eight incumbent members of the league. There are no changes to District 7-5A, which covers the River Parishes and Bayou region.
In Class 4A, E.D. White moves up to join other River and Bayou schools in an eight-team league, but that league will not include St. Charles Catholic, which is playing up to 4A for the first time. According to the first draft, the Comets would play in a New Orleans-area District 9-4A that includes Archbishop Shaw, Belle Chasse, Kenner Discovery, McMain and The Willow School, along with all-girls school Academy of Our Lady.
Another Orleans Parish district, 10-4A, would include Abramson, Carver, Douglass, McDonogh 35, New Orleans Military & Maritime and Sci High.
With E.D. White moving to 4A, St. James would be part of a four-team District 7-3A along with Berwick, Donaldsonville and Patterson. District 8-3A would encompass the northshore, while the southshore would have two districts, divided by the Mississippi River. District 9-3A includes Fisher, Jefferson Rise, Landry, Patrick Taylor, Thomas Jefferson and Young Audiences Charter, while 10-3A includes Booker T. Washington, De La Salle, Haynes, Kennedy, Livingston Collegiate, Morris Jeff and Sophie B. Wright, along with all-girls schools Cabrini, Sacred Heart and Ursuline.
The metro area has only two districts in 2A. District 9-2A places north shore schools Independence, Northlake Christian, Pope John Paul II, St. Helena and St. Thomas Aquinas in with French Settlement, while 10-2A would include Cohen, Country Day, M.L. King Charter, Newman, Sarah Reed, South Plaquemines, International High School of New Orleans and all-girls schools St. Katharine Drexel and St. Mary’s Academy.
Once again, only one Class 1A league is in the area, and it includes Crescent City Christian, Riverside Academy, St. Martin’s Episcopal, Varnado and West St. John, along with Ecole Classique, Living School of New Orleans, Lycee Francais, St. Therese and all-girls school McGehee.
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Lenny was involved in college athletics starting in 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;…