Timeline of Web Media Articles
September 5th, 2015| Written by: Editor | Cited sources: Ken Trahan and Ron Brocato of SportsNOLA.com; Jerit Roser and Garrett Galuska of NOLA.com; Jimmy Watson and Matt Vines of the ShreveportTimes.com, Robin Farmbrough of TheAdvocate.com, staff reports from BossierPress.com 
Back to article




A review of Louisiana news Websites provides a timeline of events that ended with the decision in favor of the CenturyLink Center in Bossier City earning the right to host the LHSAA State Wrestling Championships in 2016 and 2017:

Date Notes
February 20th-21st According to a March 23rd, 2015 SportsNOLA article, Ravannack met with LHSAA officials and told them moving the tournament north [to Bossier City] "is not what is right with what we have done with the sport over the last 20 years." 
March 17th The Shreveport Times reported the Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission (SBSC) was to present a bid for the 2016 and 2017 tournament to the LHSAA at a meeting on Wednesday, March 18th.
March 18th The LHSAA executive committee voted 13-5 (with two abstentions) to relocate the state tournament to the CenturyLink Center in Bossier City.  SportsNOLA reported Ravannack as saying he "may not continue [running the tournament] as a result of what he felt was a short-sighted, poor decision."

On the same date NOLA.com reported the dissatisfaction with the LHSAA decision from Brother Martin, Brusly, Catholic and Rummel coaches.  Re the 2011 event in Bossier setting attendance records, Brother Martin coach Robert Dauterive said "Every person there was forced to go every session because there is nothing else to do there.  There's nowhere else to escape to.  And that's why they had a good crowd turnout."

In Northwest Louisiana, the Bossier Press reported Airline principal Jason Rowland (and a member of the executive committee) as stating that, according to media reports and Twitter posts, having the tournament in Bossier City in 2011 has helped grow the sport in Northwest Louisiana."

ACTUALLY: One Division II program (North Desoto) and one Division III team (Lakeside) were founded between the 2012 and 2015 state tournaments.  Doyline first participated in the state championships during the 2011 event in Bossier-City.
March 19th According to the Shreveport Times, helping present the SBSC proposal principal (and executive committee member) Jason Rowland was SMG general manager Rebecca Bonnevier.  The Baton Rouge River Center and the Pontchartrain Center also presented bids.

Rowland claimed the event held in Bossier-City in 2012 "did a lot for promoting the sport in this area." 
March 23rd SportsNOLA reported Ravannack admitted the tournament had outgrown the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner and recommended utilizing the River Center in Baton Rouge for the state championships.  Ravannack went on to say "I did tell them [the LHSAA] that I was not going to be involved with it in Bossier City.  Ravannack praised the people and teams in northwest Louisiana, but stated the area needs "to have more participation" to justify holding a state championship there.  Ravannack also stated the CenturyLink Center needed a new event because they lost Arena Football and hockey, and that the "LHSAA does not have the knowledge and expertise to run it [the tournament]."
April 18th The Shreveport Times reported Principal Rowland said "It's always been the perception that because there is more people in South Louisiana that the majority of the people should do less of the travelling, and decisions have been made like that in the past.  But the [LHSAA executive] committee is blessed to have principals from all over the state, and they're seeing things more holistically in that they do want to share more with different parts of the state."
May 27th SportsNOLA reported Ravannack, due to the decision to relocate the state championships to the CenturyLink Center in Bossier for the next two years, was stepping down as the director of the state wrestling championships.
June 1st SportsNOLA quoted LHSAA assistant executive director B.J. Guzzardo (also the LHSAA's wrestling administrator), with the following based on Ravannack not running the tournament in Bossier:  "He owns all the equipment, and he had 200 volunteers and it was at his own expense.  Jim's not coming and his people aren't coming.  We'll have antiquated clocks, old-time scoring and no help from the New Orleans people." 

In the same article Kelly Wells, the SBSC vice president of sports and tourism, said they would try to get mats and clocks from other sources, and the, re officiating, "we will try to get the New Orleans officials involved, but if we do not, we'll try to get Texas officials."

NOLA.com reported that LHSAA Executive Director Eddie Bonine said the executive committee opted not to hold another vote on the issue.  Ravannack again was not involved as he was in South Africa at the time.  According to Wells "The issues with Mr. Ravannack, who is Mr. USA Wrestling, that was something we weren't aware of at the time (of the bid), and so we're going to work as hard as we can to see if there's something we can do to work with him and his organization.  He's given an incredible amount to the sport and is probably responsible for the growth of wrestling in the state.  We never had the intention of him not being involved.  I know he was involved in 2011.  I'm actually going to try to reach out to him to see if he would still consider being involved moving forward.  What he's contributed has been incredible.  It wasn't that we were taking the wrestling away, but we think we can help grow wrestling in another part of the state as well."

The Shreveport Times reported Ravannack "threatened" to pull his support of the event if the committee didn't revote to put keep it in Kenner.  It also reported that Wells said "The coaches we talked to from New Orleans said they would attend the wrestling championships no matter where they were held."
July 23rd Robin Farmbrough of the Advocate in Baton Rouge quoted LHSAA President Vic Bonnaffe stating that "If not looking a what's best for athletes means travel then they (wrestling coaches) may be right.  We have to provide the best that we can based on the information we have."

Back to Top

© 2015 by Louisiana Wrestling News

You may not make electronic copies of these copyrighted materials nor redistribute them to 3rd parties in any form without written permission.