Karr, Catholic League’s future rivals meet – Crescent City Sports
Edna Karr High School won’t start competing in District 9-5A until next fall.
But the Cougars and some of their future district rivals have already watched each other closely since the decision became official last month.
Karr’s boys’ basketball team played four games against future district rivals during the pre-district schedule. He beat Jesuit and Brother Martin before beating Curtis and Martin again in the Country Day Classic last week.
“At Karr, we don’t run away from any competition,” said men’s basketball coach Taurus Howard, who is also athletic director. “We actually encourage that, so it will be a plus for us. “
District 9-5A – which will continue to include Archbishop Rummel, Holy Cross, and St. Augustine – is commonly referred to as the Catholic League, but the inclusion of a public school such as Karr or a non-Catholic school n is not without precedent. Chalmette, Grace King and others predated the Cougars as non-Catholic schools in the venerable district.
“I am happy and grateful that the Catholic League has accepted us into their program,” Howard said. “It is a testament to the fact that they have a lot of respect for us and that they know Edna Karr is a quality program.
“We play against a few Catholic League teams every year. The only difference is that you will be playing them all now. We are looking to play the competitive, toughest, most disciplined teams and Catholic schools have that. “
Catholic League teams have also called on the Cougars for out-of-district basketball and men’s football competitions.
“It’s going to make us all a little better,” Jesuit coach Chris Jennings said. “I think that’s going to make it a stronger league for sure.”
The LHSAA’s announcement that Karr would move from Class 4A to Division I prompted an immediate backlash when it comes to football, as the Cougars have won five state titles in the state’s second rank over the past years. Last 10 years, including four consecutive (2017-19).
Karr and Curtis have played each of the past three seasons. The Patriots won 42-39 in 2019, and Karr won 36-33 in 2020 and 33-19 in the season just ended.
“We play Curtis every year,” said Howard, who is also the defensive coordinator of Brice Brown’s football team. “We play (long time 9-5A member) at St. Aug every year. We just enjoy playing with good people – trying to deliver the best product when we play. “
Karr’s entry into the Catholic League is the most significant constituency change since Curtis joined the league in 2015.
“We were hoping to bring another dimension to it – that we would bring another competitive program and another competitive school to it. I think we did, ”said Patriots football coach JT Curtis, who is also principal of the school his father founded.
Curtis said there was some concern within the district about the Cougars coming in because “they didn’t think Karr was presenting a full set of sports programming.”
“The Catholic League is known for volleyball and baseball for sure,” Howard said. “It will definitely raise the bar for our baseball and volleyball programs and our coaches and kids understand that. We talked about it.
Curtis has added soccer and expanded his swimming program since joining the Catholic League.
Karr’s basketball schedule hasn’t had the success of his football schedule, but he’s been successful lately, reaching the playoff quarter-finals in 2018 and regional ones in 2017 and 2021. The Cougars have been successful in recent times. a 13-2 record after following their victories over Curtis and Brother. Martin with victories over St. Thomas More and Catholic High to claim the Country Day title.
“They are not far behind in football,” Jennings said.
Karr’s entry into the Catholic League for at least the next two academic years coincides with Archbishop Shaw leaving for Class 4A due to lower enrollment numbers.
“I think I speak for all Catholic coaches when I say we are disappointed to see Archbishop Shaw go,” Brother Martin basketball coach Chris Biehl said, noting that the 13-2 Eagles are one of the district favorites at the start. of the Catholic League game is looming next week.
“Karr comes up with a brand of basketball this year, you have to be totally prepared to play it,” said Biehl, whose Crusaders are 15-0 against everyone except Karr.
“Their athletic department and the school as a whole are highly respected academically and athletically,” Curtis boys basketball coach Bill Lewit said of Karr. “You want teams like this – who share values - to come into your league, and Karr represents all that’s good in the Catholic League. “