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New challenge for back-to-back champs LHS is return to Class 4A

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  • George Becnel
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  • May 02, 2017 - 10:43am

File photosThe Lutcher Bulldogs return to a Baton Rouge-based Class 4A district that now includes powerful Parkview Baptist.

After back-to-back state titles, the Lutcher Bulldogs are in need of a new challenge.

The challenge will come in the form of a not-so-new but improved Class 4A district.

The last time Lutcher was in Class 4A, the Bulldogs were in a Baton Rouge-based district. Lutcher is back in the same district where the Bulldogs and Plaquemine were the top two teams of an otherwise weak football league. That’s not likely to be the case this time around with the addition of another former Class 3A school, Parkview Baptist.

“We know the New Orleans district with Warren Easton, Karr and McDonogh 35 is often the toughest state in 4A but I think the addition of Parkview and Lutcher into a Baton Rouge 4A district will make that district pretty competitive as well,” said Lutcher coach Dwain Jenkins, who will be in his second year as Lutcher coach.

“Parkview won a state championship and was a runner-up the last two years. They are probably one of the more premiere smaller schools in the state,” Jenkins continued. “I think they just made a decision with the combination of the Division II championship being a combined 3A and 4A classifications together, it made sense for them to play up. It’s a pretty easy district schedule for them travel-wise versus the 3A district they played in before.”

Plaquemine was equal to the task back when Lutcher was in the 4A district and has been the dominant force ever since the Bulldogs’ short drop to Class 3A.

“What Coach (Paul) Distefano has done at Plaquemine since he’s been there has been pretty remarkable,” Jenkins said. “They have built that program. When I was here before (as an assistant at Lutcher) we played them and were fortunate enough to get some wins against Plaquemine. The next couple of years, Plaquemine was able to take the (district) crown. They’ve won the district championship over the last four years. They have been on the doorstep of getting to the Dome.”

The other teams comprising District 6-4A are St. Michael, Woodlawn and Tara.

Before getting into the district play, the Bulldogs won’t have to spend much on fuel.

“Our non-district schedule has a lot of traditional rivalries for us, which is something our fans should enjoy. Those are all schools that are within about 15-20 minutes of our campus. A lot of people work together in that area. We are playing very football team early on in games that will mean a lot and should get you prepared for district and the playoffs,” Jenkins said.

The one pre-district game against a team from more than just a few miles away is a Week 3 encounter with Marksville, but that game will be played in Lutcher.

“Marksville is a team we played this past year in the playoffs in the quarterfinals. We were struggling to find someone to play Week 3. Neither one of us wanted to travel to Mississippi and that seemed to be the only other option that we had at that point. We made the decision to go ahead and play again,” said Jenkins.

George Becnel | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

George Becnel is an award-winning journalist and has been a sports writer and editor for more than 30 years.