LHSAA votes Foolkes president, playoff format likely to be tabled today

Published 8:00 am Friday, January 27, 2023

There was some big news out of the annual Louisiana High School Athletic Association convention Thursday in Baton Rouge.

The vote on the future of the playoff system for football, baseball, softball and basketball could be postponed to the summer and a Southwest Louisiana principal was chosen as the new LHSAA president.

Sam Houston High School Principal Shannon Foolkes was elected and will succeed David Federico. Her term begins in April. She will be the second woman to occupy the post and first since the late Camille Newsom of Rayville in 1988.

“I am looking forward to it and working with the Executive Committee and principals around the state of Louisiana,” Foolkes said. “It is going to be fun.”

Foolkes said she wants to create more communication with the schools and more open dialog. She has been an at-large member of the LHSAA Executive Committee since 2019 and is the current vice president.

The vote

Principals will vote this morning on whether to table the vote on the playoffs to the summer, which would cause the LHSAA to convene a meeting in June to decide the fate of the playoff format for football, basketball, baseball and softball.

There was a growing consensus Thursday that the best path would be to stick to the plan the Executive Committed enacted in the fall and avoid throwing the girls basketball playoffs into turmoil with less than three weeks from its start.

“It is basically waiting and postpone,” Foolkes said. “If it would fail right now, we would have to revert back to what the handbook says now. There is no way our system can revert to the old way. Someone would have to rewrite the program. I think it is a win-win for everybody to table it.”

If the principals vote to table, basketball, baseball and softball will use the 10-bracket division format (five select, five non-select) that replaced the prior system that had 12 brackets (five select, seven non-select).

Football is the only sport to play under the new system using four select and non-select division.