LHSCA set for busy convention in Shreveport this week

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Another edition of the annual LHSCA Coaches Convention will be underway shortly on June 3 through June 5.  The annual opportunity for fellowship among Louisiana high school coaches along with improving themselves professionally has been a time-honored tradition going back decades.

The 2019 Convention will be held for the second consecutive year at the sprawling Shreveport Convention Center.  Major sponsors for the Convention are the Louisiana Army National Guard, Tulane Center for Sport, Tulane School for Professional Advancement, and Coca-Cola.

Things get kicked off with the coaches golf scramble on Monday, June 3 at StoneBridge in Bossier City.  Nineteen teams are lined up to compete for first place and runner-up trophies along with Closest to the Hole and Longest Drive awards.  A number of door prizes will be given away with Callaway golf bags highlighting the gift roster.

The “meat” of the Convention gets going on Tuesday, June 4th, at the Convention Center at 9:00 am.  Tulane’s Rehab and Return to Play Director Andre Labbe’ leads off the day long clinic with a fifty minute session for all coaches on injury prevention and getting athletes back to the playing field.  Former LSU and USA National Team volleyball member Penny Lucas-White also speaks at 9am, giving an on-court demonstration on the first floor of the Convention Center.  White is currently the head volleyball coach at Alabama State.  From there, coaches in the sports of football, volleyball, basketball, soccer, and wrestling highlight the docket.

Tulane head football coach Willie Fritz will address the football coaches at 10 a.m. on Tuesday.  Fritz enters his 4th season at the Uptown campus working to build upon the winning culture he has established at the American Conference school.  Former St. Augustine player and area prep coaches Jabbar Juluke (ULL) and Wayne Cordova (Southern) highlight the docket.  Former New Orleans metro area natives Lee Roussel (Nicholls State), Gabe Fertitta (Catholic High), and Dennis Smith (Louisiana Tech) are other notable football speakers.  Former Saints front office executive Terry O’Neil will address the coaches as a representative of Practice Like Pros.  O’Neil worked for the Saints during the Mike Ditka era.

Baseball will feature college head coaches Bobby Barbier of Northwestern State and Mike Federico of UL-Monroe.  Wrestling is headed up by longtime high school coaching veteran Tommy Prochaska of Catholic High and college Hall of Famer LeRoy Gardner of University of the Ozarks.   Josh McReynolds of LSU-Eunice headlines the soccer speakers.  Basketball coaches are in for a treat as three college coaches will address the attendees in an on-court demonstration at the Convention Center.  Kevin Baker (UTEP Women’s), Chris Lovell (Bossier Parish Community College Men’s), and Mark Kellogg (Stephen F. Austin Men’s) lead the way.

The Tuesday Keynote Speaker is McDonogh 35 and SUNO alum Alvianne Brule’, a licensed sports agent with the NFL and Athlete Advocate, will address the coaches in Ballrooms A&B at 2:10 p.m. on Tuesday.  Brule’ is an experienced keynote speaker and will speak on “Your Leadership, Your Legacy”.  You can check out Alvianne’s website at www.alviannebrule.com and it showcases some of the books she has authored.

Wednesday’s lineup is highlighted by speakers in football, basketball, softball, track & field, and powerlifting.  Ed Orgeron of LSU will get the early risers going at 9 a.m. on Wednesday.  “Coach O” is followed by his defensive coordinator Dave Aranda and new passing game coordinator Joe Brady.  Brady spent last season working under Sean Payton and was an integral part of a Drew Brees’ led offense that forged its way to the NFC Championship game.  Andy Ryland of USA Football will be on hand to discuss advanced tackling systems and deepen the partnership that has been formed with the Louisiana Football Coaches Association.  The football day closes with UL-Monroe coaches Matt Kubik (offensive coordinator) and Anthony Camp (defensive line coach).

The basketball docket is highlighted by recently named head coach at Southern Miss, Jay Ladner.  Ladner, a former USM basketball player in the late 1980s, recently coached the Lions of Southeastern in Hammond.  Nicholls State Women’s head coach Dobee Plaisance will give coaches an entertaining talk in her 50-minute session on Wednesday.  The former St. Martin’s Episcopal and Loyola-New Orleans head coach has led the Lady Colonels for the past decade.

The softball staff of Louisiana College, led by head coach Barry Roberts, will be on hand to present to the state’s softball coaches.  Corey Mistretta, head track&field/cross country coach at SLU, will get creative and talk recruiting and scholarships to the state’s track coaches.  The powerlifting schedule is led by former World Super Heavyweight Champion Garry Frank.  Frank also served as a head football coach in the Baton Rouge area over a decade ago.

Dr. Rob Bell is Wednesday’s Keynote Speaker and is hailed as a Mental Toughness coach.  Bell has worked on the mental side of the game with several pro and Olympic athletes.  His address will focus on “The New Guide to Mental Toughness – No One Gets There Alone.”  Bell has authored numerous books on mental toughness and overcoming adversity.  His website is www.drrobbell.com for those interested.

The Convention will also include a welcome from the Louisiana Army National Guard; sport specific business meetings; rules clinics for football, volleyball, and basketball; and a general business meeting for the entire LHSCA.  Check the entire LHSCA Convention schedule at the link provided here.

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