Road to state still ends in Sulphur
City maintains hold on softball, swim events
DeRidder players celebrate after their victory over Morgan City in the Class 4A championship game of the LHSAA State Softball Tournament at Frash Park in Sulphur, La., Saturday, April 28, 2018. (Rick Hickman/Lake Charles American Press)
The state championship events for swimming and softball will remain in Sulphur for two more years after Sulphur Parks and Recreation was the lone bidder for each event.
The Louisiana High School Athletics Association awarded the bids Monday at its summer meeting.
Sulphur has hosted the state swim meet since 2006 and the softball tournament since 2001. The state swim meet is held each November and has not left Sulphur since moving to the city.
“We originally got it after Hurricane Katrina,” said Eric Zartler, sales director at Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention and Visitors Bureau. “SPAR did such amazing job, when it went up for bid again, Sulphur won even though New Orleans bid to get it back.”
The softball tournament has also not left since first coming to Sulphur’s Frasch Park.
Zartler said the LHSAA is pleased with how championship events are run and supported in Southwest Louisiana.
“They talk about the job the SPAR staff has done, the quality of the facilities, the way the volunteers and community gets excited for and gets behind these events, and the support from area restaurants and hotels. They have been saying for years that there is no place like Southwest Louisiana.
Zartler said the lack of opposing bids will not lead to complacency.
‘We are always going to put best foot forward,” he said. “There are new facilities in the northern part of the state, Baton Rouge and New Orleans have great facilities. We are always going to do our best to keep events here.”
In addition to swimming and softball, Sulphur also hosts the state championship baseball tournament at McMurry Park, while Lake Charles hosts the boys basketball tournament at Burton Coliseum.