The Ville Platte High basketball team will have a new venue to chase their state championship aspirations this upcoming season. (Gazette photo by Yvette Jagneaux)
LHSAA hands out state title games to select cities
Recently, the LHSAA announced their selections for host cities to all of the LHSAA non-select championship events.
For the city of Hammond, the LHSAA seemed to be in the giving mood. Not only did Hammond retain the state soccer tournaments but the city was also able to secure the state girls basketball tournament, an event that was last held in the strawberry capitol of Louisiana in 2017.
Guy Recotta, a main organizer of past state girls basketball tournaments held in Hammond, let the city government know right away.
“When I called our mayor and parish president I told them, ‘It’s back,’” Recotta said. “It’s no secret that the girls tournament has always been special to us.”
“We’re already starting to make plans because we know it will take about 500 volunteers to put the tournament on,” he continued. “We plan to go above anything we’ve done in past in order to make this the best experience we can for the players.”
Ville Platte High girls’ basketball coach Dot Doulet was excited about the move back to Hammond.
“Hammond is a great setting with very open and helpful people in charge,” Doulet stated. “We had a great experience in Lake Charles the last few years, but I feel that the people around the Hammond area are more in tune with the basketball scene.”
Another championship that will be on the move in 2021 is the state wrestling tournament. Over the past several years the tournament has been held in Bossier City.
Starting next year, the tournament will move back to Baton Rouge at the Raising Cane’s Center. The tournament has not been in the Baton Rouge area for over 28 years.
“This is huge for Baton Rouge for several reasons,” SportsBR president/CEO Patrick Coogan said. “It gives us the chance to showcase what Baton Rouge has to offer, which is significant now more than ever because of the economic downturn with the coronavirus.”
After winning the last two state championships Basile High head wrestling coach Bryan McCoy looks forward to starting a new era in Baton Rouge.
“Being in Bossier City was very convenient for us because of the location of the hotel to the venue we wrestled in,” said McCoy. “But, I am ready to move the event to Baton Rouge because of the importance of wrestling to the southern part of the state. It will be interesting to see how the event is put on. I am looking forward to making the move.”
Sulphur, the annual host site for the softball tournament and recently the baseball tournament, will remain the spots for those events next season. The University of Louisiana-Monroe was selected to host the championships in tennis and powerlifting.