Small discusses LHSAA football playoff split at Rotary

Rotarian Troy LeBeouf and Mitch Small, Director of Marketing for the LHSAA, stand together after the weekly luncheon at Café Lafourche last Thursday.

When Mitch Small showed up at the Donaldsonville Rotary Club’s weekly luncheon at Café Lafourche on Thursday, he knew there were some topics to be discussed. Small, the Director of Marketing for the Louisiana High School Athletic Association, knew the Rotarians wanted to know more about the select and non-select schools playoff split that gives Louisiana nine high school football champions and anything else he had to say – but mainly that.

Nine championship games were voted on early in the year by all of the high school principals and modified adequately during the summer. Four select schools, which include your private and charter schools and non-select are the public schools in their regular classifications of 1A through 5A.

Small, in response to the playoff split, said simply, “nothing is permanent.

“The principals make the rules,” Small said. “We just have to figure out how to enforce them.”

As far as the voting of the playoff split, Small said as with any idea a principal brings to the discussion board, a simple majority vote by them determines if it will become an LHSAA rule.

Small said the decision is mainly to try and weed out some of those teams who are repeat champions and to also rid of the some of the recruiting violations and “cheating” that’s been going on in high school football.

When a team is found guilty of a violation, the team has to forfeit a game, wins, or sometimes even a season. When asked if the LHSAA thought to bring more of a direct punishment to the coaches rather than to the players, Small said those are things the association is looking into.

Small didn’t just come to talk about the playoff split, but to also announce that the High School All-Star game is back with the West versus East team game that will be played in December this year.

Of the All-Stars, Small announced to the Rotary Club that Donaldsonville High School senior receiver Leondre James will be participating on the West team. That game is scheduled for Dec. 21 at Independent Stadium in Shreveport.