No split here: Volleyball season opens with dominant powers poised to dominate again
The disappointment that is the split in Louisiana prep sports has infiltrated football, boys and girls basketball, baseball and softball.
The thought behind the split, from the perspective of public school principals, is that their district only schools are at an unfair advantage as it relates to private schools and magnet schools, who can attract from anywhere.
As I have stated many times, the concerns are legitimate. It is the solution that is flawed.
Separation is not the answer. If anyone asked the athletes if they would like to compete with all of their brethren, the response would be overwhelmingly positive. Some coaches whose schools voted to split would prefer to be together. The same is true of some athletic directors but they must remain silent to support the overall mission and, frankly, to keep their jobs.
While there are some dominant programs in the sports that have resulted in votes to split, there is one glaring sport where dominance, even dynasties exist.
That sport is the wonderful sport of volleyball, whose season opens today around the state, including 11 matches in the Greater New Orleans area, eight in the Baton Rouge sector and three in Bayou country.
The defending state champions include Mount Carmel (Division I), St. Thomas More (Division II), Teurlings Catholic (Division III), Pope John Paul II (Division IV), Country Day (Division V).
How dominant have these programs been?
The Cubs and Jaguars are three-time defending champions and have won four of the last five Division I titles, while the Cougars are five-time defending winners, Rebels while the Cajuns have won seven of the last eight Division V state championships. Mount Carmel has played in eight straight finals, winning five times and St. Thomas More have played in seven straight finals, winning six.
St. Joseph’s (Division I), Assumption (Division II), Ursuline (Division III), Archbishop Hannan (Division IV), Ascension Episcopal (Division V) were finished second a year ago. The Redstickers have won seven state titles since 2002 and played in two other finals. The Mustangs won a state title in 2009 and played for the championship in 2005, 2010, 2014 and 2016.
Notre Dame won state championships in 2007, 2010, 2011 and 2012 and played for the title in 2009 and 2013.
Ursuline won state championships in Division III in 2009, 2011 and 2012 and played for the title in 2010, 2014 and 2016. Other programs who have been dominant in recent years include Cabrini, Episcopal, Episcopal of Acadiana, Fontainebleau, Ben Franklin, Mandeville, McGehee, Newman, Notre Dame, Sacred Heart Academy-New Orleans and E.D. White Catholic.
You get the picture?
If any sport is dominated by certain programs, mostly private and magnet schools, it is volleyball. Thank goodness there has been no split in the sport, which remains a vibrant, viable, vastly superior championship in comparison to other LHSAA sports. The quarterfinals, semifinals and finals at the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner Nov. 9-11 will again be a must-see event.
Many schools open their respective seasons Tuesday.
As for the schedule today, Country Day opens its season this afternoon in Slidell against First Baptist Christian at 4:30 p.m.
Mount Carmel opens Tuesday at home against Northshore at 5 p.m. St. Thomas More opens Tuesday at 5 p.m. against rival Teurlings Catholic in a battle of titans. Pope John Paul II opens at home on Tuesday against St. Amant at 4 p.m.
Prep Volleyball Schedule for Monday, Aug. 28
New Orleans Area
Country Day at First Baptist Christian, 4:30 p.m.
Warren Easton at St. Mary’s Academy, 5 p.m.
East St. John at West Jefferson, 4 p.m.
Higgins at Carver, 4 p.m.
Karr at St. Martin’s Episcopal, 5:30 p.m.
Kenner Discovery at Crescent City Christian, 4:30 p.m.
Lake Area New Tech at Sophie B. Wright, 4 p.m.
Loranger at Ponchatoula, 5:30 p.m.
McGehee at Lusher, 5:30 p.m.
Pine at Hammond, 4 p.m.
St. Joseph’s at Archbishop Chapelle, 6:30 p.m.
Baton Rouge Area
Baker at Northeast, 5 p.m.
Brusly at Southern Lab, 6 p.m.
Central at West Feliciana, 6 p.m.
Live Oak at Springfield, 5:30 p.m.
Livonia at White Castle, 6 p.m.
Mandeville at Parkview Baptist, 5 p.m.
Plaquemine at False River, 6 p.m.
Tara at Ascension Christian, 5 p.m.
Berwick at Terrebonne, 5 p.m.
Lutheran at Covenant Christian, 4 p.m.
Slidell at Vandebilt Catholic, 5:30 p.m.
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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Sports Media Association, National Football…