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Students wait for the morning bell to ring at Bolton High School in Alexandria. Bolton High, with an enrollment of 654, is expected to move up to Class 4A in the Louisiana High School Athletic Association school classifications.

Photo Courtesy of The Town Talk
Bolton High expected to move up to 4A, while Bunkie High may drop to 2A

By Bob Tompkins • btompkins@thetowntalk.com • October 14, 2010

Bolton High in Alexandria is expected to move up from Class 3A to 4A, Alexandria Senior High is expected to barely avoid moving up from 4A to 5A, and Bunkie High is expected to drop from Class 3A to 2A.

Each is expected when the Louisiana High School Athletic Association's classification committee holds its biennial meeting Wednesday, Oct. 27, in Baton Rouge.

Holy Savior Menard Central High in Alexandria, meanwhile, will stay in Class 2A but is going to propose a change in district membership, according to athleics director and football coach Freddie Hallman.

Rapides High, in Class B, may move up to Class 2A, and Grace Christian, at 108, will likely move from Class C to B.

Bolton football coach Reynolds Moore said Wednesday he was told by an LHSAA official that Bolton, with an enrollment of 654, would be moving up to 4A, which two years ago included schools in the 638-1,098 enrollment range.

"They'll probably just add us to (District 4-4A)," Moore said, referring to the district that currently includes ASH, Grant, Leesville, Peabody and Tioga.

"A lot of our numbers are gifted students," said Moore. "You're looking at an ASH, which has 80-85 kids on the team from 10th through 12th grade, and we have maybe 40-45 from 9th through 12th grade. I don't want to say it's unfair, but it makes it very, very difficult. In 3A, we feel like we can be more competitive."

Alexandria Senior High ranks 59th in enrollment in the LHSAA with 1,082, and the LHSAA will put the top 56 schools by enrollment in Class 5A. Class 4A Haughton, with 1,106 students -- 24 more than ASH -- is slotted to be the 56th team in Class 5A.

"We want to be where we can be most competitive," said ASH principal Duane Urbina. "If our numbers dictate we need to go to 5A, we'll embrace that, and I think that will happen in the next two years."

Bunkie High, with an enrollment of 330, has lost some students in the last two years to Class B Avoyelles Public Charter School (195), according to Bunkie football coach Bruce Webb, and is expected to drop down into Class 2A, since the last classification period had 2A enrollment being from 234-424.

Hallman said Menard High is hoping to get approval to change its membership from District 3-2A to a more southern district where travel would be less of a hardship.

"When we travel to Mansfield, that's practically in Shreveport," said Hallman of the school in DeSoto Parish just south of Shreveport's Caddo Parish. "We're going to propose a district with Bunkie, Ville Platte, Mamou, Pine Prairie and possibly Oakdale."

Travis Broussard, who coached Rapides High to the Class B boys state championship last season, said "it could go either way" on whether Rapides, with an enrollment of 240, stays in Class B or moves to Class 2A.

"If my calculations are correct," said Broussard, "we'll either be the smallest Class 2A school or the largest Class B school. In Class B, there are maybe eight teams that have a shot at winning state. In Class 2A, there are well over 14 teams."