This year’s inaugural high school event features four of the top football programs in the state. The success and tradition of these schools is expected to help the Allstate Sugar Bowl Prep Classic grow into a major attraction with regional and national significance.
"The Superdome has always been a great venue for football at all levels, and each year the state championship games are a big draw for people who enjoy the great tradition of Louisiana high school football," says Superdome General Manager Alan Freeman. "We see this new event sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl developing into one of the top high school double-headers in the country."
The Allstate Sugar Bowl Prep Classic will kick off with John Curtis battling Westgate in the opener at 6 p.m., followed by St. Paul’s against Acadiana in the nightcap at 8:30 p.m. Tickets will be available beginning Friday morning at the New Orleans Arena box office and via Ticketmaster. Advance tickets are $10, while day-of-game admission will be $12.
"Thanks to the good people at the Sugar Bowl, early-season high school football is back in the Superdome," said J.T. Curtis, head coach at John Curtis Christian School. "It starts with two great matchups, giving the fans an opportunity to see some of the best teams in the state in head-to-head competition. We’re very excited to be part of it."
The Patriots from John Curtis are ranked No. 2 in the nation in MaxPreps’ small school rankings for 2011. The team ad-vanced to the Class 2A state championship game last season and has reached the state playoffs in each of the last 36 years, winning an amazing 23 state championships. The Patriots have recorded 10 or more wins in each of the last 36 years as well. Curtis’ opponent will be the Tigers from Westgate High, a perennial state playoff team. The New Iberia squad, under the direction of coach Brian Fine, has advanced to the Class 5A state semifinals in three of the past four seasons, including last year.
The second game is a rematch from last year’s Class 5A state quarterfinals. After finishing unbeaten in the regular sea-son, Ken Spears’ St. Paul’s team fell to Acadiana, 40-21, in the quarterfinals. The Wolves captured the District 7-5A title and finished the year 12-1. Acadiana, under the direction of coach Ted Davidson, followed up the St. Paul’s victory by going all the way to the state championship, defeating West Monroe High in the title contest, 21-14, in the Superdome. The Wrecking Rams, who also won the state championship in 2006, closed the 2010 campaign as a national top-10 team ac-cording to MaxPreps.
"The Sugar Bowl Committee has demonstrated a strong commitment to high school football over the years, and this sponsorship serves to further showcase that tradition," said Allstate Sugar Bowl CEO Paul Hoolahan. "We are proud to play a part in this inaugural event, and we look forward to the possibility of building on that support in the years ahead."
The Sugar Bowl Committee will host a pair of the top college football games of the year in the Superdome: the 78th an-nual Allstate Sugar Bowl Classic on Tuesday, Jan. 3 and the Allstate BCS National Championship game on Monday, Jan. 9. In addition, the bowl is part of the local organizing committee for the 2012 NCAA Men’s Final Four, another Superdome event scheduled for March 31 and April 2.
The Sugar Bowl Committee continues to be very active in the New Orleans community by holding fast to its mission of sponsoring and promoting amateur sporting events which foster revenue and spark economic growth for the city and the state. This year the Bowl will support 23 events in sports such as volleyball, basketball, golf, lacrosse, sailing, track and field, soccer and tennis, as well as football. In addition, the Allstate Sugar Bowl is a key part of the local organizing com-mittee for the 2012 NCAA Men’s Final Four and the 2013 NCAA Women’s Final Four, and also sponsors the local chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame as well as the Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame.