Five metro schools poised to move up to Class 5A next year

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Warren Easton football
(Photo: Beau Brune)

The Louisiana High School Athletic Association has released enrollment data to be used for classification of schools for the next two years, and of the seven schools who have swelled to Class 5A enrollment levels, five are from the greater New Orleans area.

Riverdale, Warren Easton, Higgins, Salmen and Ben Franklin all currently play in Class 4A, but would move to 5A beginning next school year, based on the new numbers.

Assuming there are no appeals by any of those schools, and the three schools who played up to Class 5A in the last reclassification cycle – St. Augustine, Holy Cross and John Curtis Christian – all declare their intent to play up again, it could make for some interesting districting decisions for the LHSAA. For instance:

*Will the northshore league grow to nine teams with Salmen, or could changes be made, such as sliding Ponchatoula and Hammond to a district with Livingston and Ascension Parish schools, or perhaps bringing St. Paul’s into the Catholic League?

*Even if St. Paul’s remains in the St. Tammany/Tangipahoa district, that still leaves potentially 16 Class 5A schools on the southshore – 10 public and six private. Would they remain in two districts or be split into three? And if there are three 5A districts on the southshore, would that send Karr out of the Catholic League? And how does Ben Franklin, which has typically not played for district honors in football, impact the process?

Besides St. Aug, Holy Cross and Curtis, four other football-playing schools chose to play up in 2021, all to Class 4A – Vandebilt Catholic, De La Salle, Lafayette Christian and Evangel Christian. Vandebilt now has a 4A enrollment, while the others will again have to decide on playing up.

A pair of perennially strong football programs look to be moving up in class next year. E.D. White Catholic is headed from Class 3A to 4A, while St. Charles Catholic is poised to move from 2A to 3A.

Other area schools tentatively moving up in class include Thomas Jefferson from Class 2A to 3A, New Orleans Charter Science and Math from 3A to 4A and St. Katharine Drexel from 1A to 2A.

Three schools who competed last year in Class B or C would move to Class 1A for 2024-25: Living School of New Orleans, Lycee Francais de la Nouvelle Orleans and St. Therese Academy.

Those from the metro area tentatively moving down are Booker T. Washington, Cabrini, L.B. Landry and Young Audiences Charter from 4A to 3A, Sarah Reed from 3A to 2A and M.L. King Charter from 2A to 1A.

The deadline for schools to appeal their placement or to declare their intent to play up in classification is Oct. 31, with a meeting to hear those appeals scheduled for Nov. 2.

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Lenny Vangilder


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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;…

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