District change ahead for Donaldsonville

Kyle Riviere
Head football coach Brian Richardson and Donaldsonville will move to District 10-3A, come 2017. Photo by Kyle Riviere.

The LHSAA executive committee met last week, and as a result, there will be implications on one team in the parish.

While Ascension Christian proposed that the committee move them to a new district, it was Donaldsonville that was the school to actually receive the change. The Tigers will be making the move from District 6-3A to District 10-3A, come 2017.

Ascension Christian proposed a change in districts at the meeting last week. It was the same proposal they made in 2014.

The school asked the committee to move them from the Baton Rouge-based District 6-1A to the New Orleans area’s District 8-1A.

When they asked for the move last year, they simply proposed that they switch districts with Varnado. That proposal was denied.

When Ascension Christian head coach Josh Puryear was asked about the appeal of moving to District 8-1A last year, he said, "We thought it would have been a good move for us because we play a lot of those teams each year in non-district. We know each other well.”

Once again, Ascension Christian was denied the move.

They will remain in what many believe to be the toughest Class 1A district in the state, with the likes of parish foe Ascension Catholic, Southern Lab, Kentwood, White Castle and St. John.

Football has been dominated by Southern Lab and Kentwood. Kentwood won the Class 1A title in 2015. Southern Lab has won back-to-back Division IV championships.

Ascension Christian has decided not to play a full District 6-1A football schedule the past two seasons. They have only played Ascension Catholic, St. John and East Iberville.

It has allowed them to have much more success in the win-column, but as a result, they have been ineligible to make the postseason both years—despite finishing with a combined record of 14-6.

Also, nothing will change for Dutchtown, East Ascension and St. Amant.

They will remain in District 5-5A with the likes of Catholic of Baton Rouge, McKinley, Broadmoor, Baton Rouge (non-football) and St. Joseph’s Academy (for girl’s sports only).

Donaldsonville moved from District 9-3A to District 6-3A two years ago.

Then head football coach Benny Guilbeaux was never thrilled about the change.

Before their first season in the new league, he said, “I wasn’t in favor of it. I’m not trying to get away from competition, but I didn’t want us getting away from playing Dutchtown. I really wanted St. Amant on the schedule this year, but with an eight-team district, we’re going to have to chop that off.”

Unfortunately for the Tigers—now led by football head coach Brian Richardson—they will once again be at the mercy of an eight-team district two years later, but they will be out of the ultra-competitive District 6-3A.

That district contained the likes of University, Parkview Baptist, West Feliciana, Port Allen and Brusly—all teams in or close to the Baton Rouge area.

In 2016, all six of those schools qualified for the football and basketball postseasons.

Though the new district will still contain many schools known for their strong athletic programs, it will allow Donaldsonville to play opponents that are closer in vicinity.

The Tigers will be joined by: Academy of Sacred Heart, De La Salle, Haynes Academy, Lusher Charter, St. Charles, St. James and Ursuline.

This district was shuffled around after Lutcher made the move back to Class 4A. St. James, Lusher and De La Salle then moved from District 9-3A to 10-3A.

Final plans will be approved by the LHSAA member principals at the annual January convention.

The changes will stay in place for two years.