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|Move championships to Monroe|
Never mind talking about re-classification, dividing up private and public schools or getting rid of Class B and Class C schools in football.
At the Louisiana High School Athletic Association meeting in January, the discussion needs to be moving the state championships from New Orleans to Monroe.
Goodbye Superdome, hello ULM.
After three of the five state championship trophies went to Ouachita Parish teams this year, it seems only right north Louisiana fans should have the right to host an event.
And it would bring more money because of the local interest. (Sometimes you have to bring up the money part because that's all most of the LHSAA members understand).
And if not Ouachita Christian, Mangham would have been there and brought the town with them.
While John Curtis won Class 4A, Evangel, Calvary Baptist and Winnfield were the other final four teams.
The Class 3A had an all-South final four, but give Farmerville a couple of years to adjust to the new class.
Bastrop would have been in the 4A chase if not for the fight with Carroll.
And you can count on Ruston getting back in the 5A chase.
Holding state championship trophies high the second weekend of December were Ouachita Christian School, Neville and West Monroe.
No other parish had ever sent three teams to the state championships before this week. That's over 85 years, people. Wait that long again and you are talking 2096. West Monroe's Don Shows should be holding up around trophy No. 88.
The championship was the second for OCS coach Steven Fitzhugh, who was also an assistant coach on the 1997 state championship team.
"It doesn't every get old," Fitzhugh said. "It's sweet every time. I thoroughly enjoyed it, but I enjoy it even more for the kids, to see that hard work they put in pay off."
As for three parish teams being state champs, Fitzhugh said he was glad to see his team set the tone that Friday afternoon in the first of five games, beating West St. John 23-7.
"I don't think what we did had any influence on any other game, they were still going to take care of business," Fitzhugh said. "Certainly we were pulling for the other two teams. We did tell them it was their turn now. I know we had people from Neville showing up early to pull for us and some of our people stayed around and pulled for West Monroe."
Fitzhugh said he knew this year's team had the potential.
"But a lot can happen," he said. "Unbelievably we had all our players dressed out on the sideline ready to play for the championship game. We were very blessed in a lot of ways this season."
West Monroe beat Carencro 20-13.
Shows lifted the state trophy for the eighth time in the Superdome on Dec. 10, his second in three years.
"It's more fun each time," Shows said. "And the fun part of winning is to look at the faces of the kids after we have won it. Thing about it is, I enjoy for 15 minutes and then I am thinking about next year."
Shows said his team did not feel any type of extra pressure, motivation or incentive after OCS and Neville won.
"We went down there preparing to win," he said. "Our goal was to go back down there and win it this time We've got some good kids who worked hard."
Shows returns seven starters on defense and five on offense.
"We've got a lot of players we have to replace," Shows said. "But that's the same way it is every year. It's just a matter of getting the pieces together during the spring."
Neville defeated Karr 27-6. The Tigers won state two years ago, defeating Franklinton 31-15.
"It's all about the players," McCartney said.
As for motivation for his team with two other local teams sharing the Dome?
"I think each team has its own story," McCartney said. "I think it is a testament to the football in our area and the work that goes into it. At the same time there is a rivalry that goes on between south and north Louisiana teams. We are proud for all our teams."
I think you can count on Shows, Fitzhugh and McCarty making repeat visits to the state championship.
Too bad it's not just down the road.
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