My most memorable moments covering sports (Part 4 – High School)
The whole sports world has been shut down for a couple of months.
It started when the NBA shut down on March 13. The NHL followed suit almost immediately. Then the dominoes took down the climax to the college basketball season and other college sports.
The LHSAA managed to complete its basketball season before pulling the plug on the rest of its spring seasons.
So our freshest sports memories are from the high-schools season.
Hopefully the high schools and everyone else can get back on the fields and diamonds and inside the arenas safely in the not-too-distant future.
In the meantime I’m reflecting on memorable moments, seasons, teams and individuals that I have covered.
The fourth installment of my 10-part series deals with covering high-school sports.
- Football sideline reporter
I haven’t covered a lot of prep sports compared to many of my colleagues.
I don’t have a lot of experience in covering sports for broadcast entities.
But during the 2016 prep football season I had the opportunity to be the sideline reporter for WHNO-TV broadcasts, which also aired on Crescent City Sports’ predecessor.
Ken Berthelot, Wayde Keiser, Lenny Vangilder, the rest of the crew and I had a lot of fun covering a lot of really good football teams and games. One of the best parts was experiencing a wide variety of special places.
In addition to a couple of trips to Tad Gormley Stadium, we witnessed a couple of games in the River Parishes, the Northshore, Hancock County, Mississippi and the distinctive experience at Metairie Park Country Day.
It was cool.
- The Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Volleyball Championships
The Pontchartrain Center gets really loud in the middle of November every year.
The three-day state championship volleyball tournament attracts really good teams and really enthusiastic fans from all over Louisiana.
I have covered the event each of the last four seasons and have seen a lot of memorable players, teams and matches.
New Orleans has numerous outstanding volleyball programs and several of them always seem to make it to the Pontchartrain Center and frequently make it all the way to the championship round on Saturday.
Country Day, Mount Carmel, Pope John Paul II, Cabrini, Chapelle, De La Salle and Ben Franklin are among the most frequent participants. St. Joseph’s Academy, Teurlings Catholic and Lafayette Christian are prominent programs from other areas that have been regular participants.
- Warren Easton-Edna Karr football rivalry
There are a lot of good games and good teams and good rivalries to choose from, but this one stands out in my recent memory.
The former district rivals have faced off six times in the last three seasons with Karr winning each match-up and most of them have gone to the wire.
I’ve covered most of those meetings, including the last two Class 4A state championship games, and the Easton-Karr rivalry is as good as any I have covered.
- Ken Trahan’s Original Prep Football Report
I’ve been fortunate to contribute to this comprehensive prep football broadcast for more years than I can count – as a game correspondent, as the keeper of many, many scores from around the state and most recently as an analyst with Ro Brown.
We do most of our broadcasts from remote locations at area restaurants and host a variety of schools for on-site pep rallies each Friday.
It’s always a pleasure to visit with coaches, administrators and students from a wide variety of programs around the metro area, listen to the reports as they pour in from around the state, then chat with winning coaches and the top high-school football reporters from throughout Louisiana.
I’m not sure how much I contribute to the broadcasts, but I know it’s far less than what I get out of them.
- The Superdome Classic
It’s one of the most distinctive sporting events in Louisiana and has been for decades.
Football teams from all over Louisiana start practicing in August, dreaming of finishing their season with a championship in the Superdome in mid-December. The split between select and non-select schools has diluted the experience a bit, but hopefully that can be fixed before too long.
There have been so many memorable moments involving teams from all around Louisiana – Haynesville, Oak Grove, Catholic, Destrehan, St. James, Salmen, John Curtis (of course) and many, many more.
The state of Louisiana built the Superdome, which has been one of the most distinctive sports venues in the world for more than 40 years.
The Superdome belongs to the people of Louisiana and having the prep football season conclude there is a special time for people throughout the state. It’s a great experience for the players, their coaches, their fans and the folks covering the games.
The absence of sports for the last several weeks has given all of us a chance to take a step back and accept what we enjoy most about sports.
The purity of high school sports stands out now more than ever.
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Les East is a nationally renowned freelance journalist. The New Orleans area native’s blog on SportsNOLA.com was named “Best Sports Blog” in 2016 by the Press Club of New Orleans. For 2013 he was named top sports columnist in the United States by the Society of Professional Journalists. He has since become a valued contributor for CCS. The Jesuit High…