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Wednesday, April 24, 2019

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South Lafourche drops to Class 4A

South Lafourche drops to Class 4A

The Bayou District will be missing a team next fall – the Tarpons will officially be swimming in another pond.
The LHSAA released its enrollment figures and preliminary district outlines this past week, and most of the local landscape looks the same for high schools in Lafourche and Terrebonne parishes.

The lone exception has to do with South Lafourche, who weighed in with an enrollment of 1,112 students. That mark is below the Class 5A benchmark of 1,159 or more students, meaning that the Tarpons are now a Class 4A school.

That distinction means that South Lafourche will move out of the Bayou District and into a 4A district of the LHSAA’s choosing. The preliminary plan this past week put the local high school in District 7-4A with Assumption, Ellender, Morgan City, South Terrebonne and Vandebilt.

The final redistricting will be done in the coming weeks, but South Lafourche football coach Dennis Skains said the district is not going to change, adding that his entire district football schedule has finalized for the next two seasons.

The Tarpons’ coach said he’s happy for the chance to face different opponents, but added that he’d have been happy no matter where the Tarpons were placed.

“It really didn’t make much of a difference for us,” Skains said. “We were going to be happy no matter if we were 4A or 5A. Now that it’s done, we’re just working to complete our schedule and everything so that we can get things rolling.”

The obvious question that folks across Bayou Lafourche will now ask is: “If South Lafourche isn’t in the same district with Thibodaux and Central Lafourche, then will the two schools still play against one another to renew their long-standing rivalries?”

Exhale. Relax. The answer to that question is a resounding yes – at least for football.

Both Skains and Central Lafourche head football coach Keith Menard confirmed this weekend that the Tarpons and Trojans will lock horns in the fourth week of the 2015 prep football season. A week before South Lafourche plays Central, the Tarpons will play Thibodaux in a Week 3 tilt.

Skains said he and the rival coaches wanted to keep the rivalries alive, touting that it was important to tradition in our area for the schools to play one another.

Menard said he loves the annual game between South and Central Lafourche, adding that the game needs to be played every year.

“It’s big,” Menard said. “It’s big for the kids. They look forward to that. It’s a big rivalry game. There’s no question.”

What is means for South Lafourche

Skains touted his apathy toward redistricting, saying that who and where South Lafourche plays is of little bother to him.

But purely from a numbers standpoint, it sure seems like the Tarpons will step right in and become one of the favorites in their new league – in all of the major sports.

In football, District 7-4A was top-heavy in 2014 with South Terrebonne posting a 10-2 record. Every other team in the district had a losing record with Vandebilt finishing second place with a 4-7 record.

District 7-4A’s combined win/loss record for 2014 was 22-31 with two teams (South Terrebonne and Vandebilt) making the playoffs. That number pales in comparison to the 51-42 record that the brutally tough Bayou District teams posted last year – five of whom reached postseason play.

In both boys’ and girls’ basketball, District 7-4A is also very competitive with Ellender pacing the field in both sports.

But the depth of dominance in the league doesn’t appear to be quite as rich in District 7-4A as in the Bayou District where incredibly talented teams like East St. John, Central Lafourche, Hahnville, Destrehan and H.L. Bourgeois all roam.

All of that bodes well for the Tarpons, who went from one of the smallest Louisiana 5A schools to one of the biggest 4A schools overnight.

Even better for fans is that the local rivalries will stay alive – seemingly a win/win for everyone involved.