The 2023 Final Four will be eerily similar to 2022. Catholic will host Isidore Newman- just like last year. Jesuit will host St. Thomas More- just like last year. What’s different though, is how ¾ of the teams would like a different outcome.
The weekend will start out with Catholic playing Newman at 4:00pm. Keep in mind this year’s championship weekend is being hosted by Visit Baton Rouge and being played at Catholic HIgh. We magine a huge raucous crowd for the Bear’s. Will Newman’s travel party be able to match that intensity being just an hour away? Only time will tell.
How Catholic advances: Their organization and relentless ride pays off. There may be no better organized team in the League. When on, they can choke the life out of any opponent at every step. Oh, and they can score in bunches and play make it take it with All America FOGO Delahoussaye. There's good reason they're undefeated in League play this year.
How Newman advances: The stars show up at night. McCall Englehardt is a GREAT young goalie who was in this exact position last year. Playmakers Kukuy and Murphy (who sat when they played in the regular season) can be absolutely lethal. They play fast, and with poise. They have finishers everywhere on offense. If they can beat the ride, and shoot efficiently, they have a chance to spring an upset.
The nightcap sees Jesuit hosting St. Thomas More. The last two times these teams have matched up, the game was decided by 1 goal. Jesuit the victor in both. Both teams have coaches who have won LHSLL Championships before. Both have incredible talent on all sides. Expect this one to once again be a close one.
How Jesuit advances: The balance is too much to overcome. Jesuit has an excellent defense, great midfield, and solid scorers on offense. They are balanced and poised almost always. Last year, All State Middie Jack Sutherlin had his coming out party in this game. If he plays well again, it could be curtains for the Cougars.
How St. Thomas more advances: STM offense dominates. It’s tough to see the Cougars winning in a defensive battle, but if the points start coming, they can win. STM rolls DEEP at the midfield and has a dynamic Furka to Furka connection at Attack. Possessions will be important, as will efficient shooting. But there might not be an offense who can heat up as quick as the Cougars at Final Four Weekend.
Good Luck to all squads as they enter Championship Weekend. We can’t wait to watch the shows you put on!