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Notebook: Football playoff pairings to be released today

Last Modified: Saturday, November 03, 2012 7:27 PM

By Warren Arceneaux / American Press

Football playoff pairings will be announced today.

Thirty-two teams in each class qualify for the playoffs. All teams tying for a district championship receive an automatic berth, with the rest of the field and seeded by power rating.

CST (Ch. 57) and FoxSports (Ch. 27) will broadcast a pairings show at 6 p.m.

Area teams receiving automatic berths are District 3-5A champion Barbe; District 4-4A co-champions DeRidder, LaGrange and Washington-Marion; District 4-2A co-champions Rosepine and Welsh and District 5-1A champion Oberlin.

The playoffs will culminate with the championship games at the Superdome, Dec. 7-8.

SECOND-ROUND SPIKES: The state volleyball playoffs resume Monday.

In first-round games played Thursday, four of five area teams — Westlake, Sam Houston, Iowa and DeQuincy — won at home. Leesville was the only team eliminated in the bi-district round.

In the regional round, the four bi-district winners will hit the road for the regional round, while the three area teams receiving first-round byes — Barbe, St. Louis and Iowa — will be at home.

Winners will advance to the state tournament, to be played Thursday-Saturday at The Pontchartrain Center in Kenner.

ARMY RECRUIT: A U.S. Army All-American Bowl Selection Tour will visit Barbe Thursday to select tight end DeSean Smith to participate in the annual U.S. Army All-American Bowl all star game.

Smith will receive his game jersey after a Veteran’s Day assembly in the school gym.

Five U.S. Army All-American Bowl Selection Tour teams travel throughout the country from late September to mid-December to announce all 90 players.

The game will be played at noon Saturday, Jan. 5, at the Alamodome in San Antonio.

Smith, a senior tight end, has 32 receptions for 609 yards and seven touchdowns. He has committed to play at LSU next season.

FOOTBALL FRAUD: A 21-year-old man played football at a central Michigan high school after fooling officials with altered documents and an alias, an athletic director said.

As a result, the Mount Pleasant Oilers may have to forfeit a few end-of-season victories. The Michigan High School Athletic Association was notified.

“It’s an unfortunate situation,” coach Jason McIntyre said Saturday.

The player told the school his name was Javier Jones, but his real name is James Nash, said Athletic Director Jim Conway. Nash moved to Mount Pleasant from Lansing.

After a tip, the school investigated and Nash was expelled on Thursday, Conway said.

“There are some official documents that have been altered, so now it’s a police matter. He went under an alias, his age was doctored and we weren’t aware of altered documents,” Conway said.

Under state rules, a student isn’t eligible to play sports if he or she is 19 before Sept. 1.

“The MHSAA did indicate that it is unprecedented that a young person has changed their age from older to younger to be able to play. They had not run into this,” Conway told the newspaper.

Nash could not be reached for comment Saturday; there was no phone number listed for him.

It’s not clear why a 21-year-old wanted to enroll in high school and play football. A message seeking further comment from Conway was not immediately returned.

McIntyre said Nash asked to play football on the first day of school, even though he had missed a few games and grueling summer practices. Nash, known then as Jones, played defensive back and was a starter in the final weeks of the season.

“Did he look older than he was? He looked like any other athletic senior,” McIntyre told The Associated Press. “I don’t think he had any interceptions. He was not a dominant player.”

The Oilers didn’t qualify for the playoffs and finished the season with a 4-5 record.

Brandon Isham, 16, said he played basketball with Nash outside of school and didn’t know he was 21. He said Nash had talked about trying to get on the school’s basketball team.

“He’s an excellent athlete,” said Isham, who no longer attends Mount Pleasant High School. “He’s a good shooter — beyond good.”

•••

Items in this report were compiled by staff writer Warren Arceneaux. The Associated Press contributed. To submit an item, contact the American Press at 494-4069 or email sports@americanpress.com

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