Cry havoc, and let slip the emails of war
Date, 2019 | Written by: Editor



It is with great regret that I must inform the much-valued readers of the Louisiana Wrestling News that I will not be attending the 2019 state wrestling championships, and neither myself nor the four other photographers I had lined-up will be able to take photographs of the event.

In their infinite wisdom the LHSAA has opted for neither quality nor quantity, but for mediocrity, as that at least generates income.  If the LHSAA operates as a true business, they will send out a "Request for Proposal" to the vendors they know of.  Those vendors will, should they choose to, submit a bid to accommodate the criteria in the "Request for Proposal," and the LHSAA will choose a vendor and pay them for their services.

I may be wrong, but the LHSAA appears to have chosen a vendor for photographing the state championships which submitted the lowest bid.  I have asked to see the proposal they accepted, but despite the "Operate with transparency that generates trust with strict fiscal accountability" which is #6 on a list in Article 2, Section 2.2 entitled "Core Values" in the LHSAA constitution, they would not send me that information.

Hence wrestlers, families and fans will be forced to buy photographs from RomaPics this season.  Or not.  RomaPics makes money from selling their photographs, but they only take photographs of wrestlers for schools which have paid RomaPics to do that.  As I read it (as skewed though my thoughts may be), that may violate section #7 of the "Core Values" section of Article 2, Section 2.2 of the LHSAA constitution, which states the LHSAA is organized to "Prevent the exploitation of member schools programs by special interest groups."  RomaPics can easily be considered a "special interest group" as, for one, the LHSAA constitution does not define what a "special interest group."  And is it not exploiting the schools to force them to buy, or limit the opportunity to buy photographs, from such a "special interest group."

There are many things I think are odd re the circumstances preventing my being able to photograph the state championships.  I often mention that many if not most wrestling coaches work for a small stipend, if for any stipend at all, and spend a lot more of their personal income on a wrestling program than the school they represent does.  They do it for the love and respect they have for the sport of wrestling and what it can teach young people, and thus are doing it for the kids.  That is what I hope to be doing whenever I cover a wrestling event.  Yet in the LHSAA constitution there is not a phrase akin to "for the kids" or "for the student." It does lead one to think what a lot of people believe to be true, in that all the LHSAA cares about is money.  Money is mentioned in Article 9, section 9.1.5, in which it states that the LHSAA will receive $15.00 for every wrestler participating in the state championships.

I believe the above items reinforce the beliefs of most wrestling-affiliated people I know in that the LHSAA only cares about money.  As such, one might think they would invest a little more in their Website.

The LHSAA has always had Website problems, particularly in the "changing something" area.  I can change or delete things in under a minute, but I do have a decent knowledge of HTML code and own server space, and I imagine the LHSAA pays a Website creation firm to handle their Website, who tells the LHSAA that it is a "big deal" to have something changed on the Website.  By "longer" I mean years.  For over two years the wrestling page of the LHSAA Website had a link to the "Louisiana High School Wrestling Coaches Association" which did not link to anything at all.  When the LHSWCA stopped having any clout whatsoever re Louisiana wrestling, I took down the domain as I owned it.  (I could have made that link go anywhere I wanted, but chose the better part of valor.)

A current problem is that when they are "clicked," the email addresses of LHSAA personnel do not link to any email structure at all.  They are just useless email addresses which standout on the pages as if they do work.

Eddie Bonine


Executive Director

Phone Extension: 4211

Email Eddie Bonine

Adam MacDowell


Assistant Executive Director

Phone Extension: 4212

Email Adam MacDowell

                 Sport Assignments: Wrestling

Tiara Gibson


Director of Communications and Media Relations

Phone Extension: 4205

Email Tiara Gibson


In a perfect world they would open a new email in whatever email program the writer generally uses.  As an example if I click on the email links below, an Outlook Express email page will open.

Eddie Bonine:

Adam MacDowell:

Tiara Gibson:

This problem makes it rather difficult to email LHSAA personnel, and a way should be available to remedy that.

Should the reader wish to send an email to the LHSAA pertaining to the new qualifications for media credentials, please do not assign any blame to Ms. Tiara Gibson.  While I am sure Ms. Gibson has many responsibilities, in this matter she simply is following the directions of higher ranked LHSAA personnel.  Yet I think the odds of someone at the LHSAA reading the emails and bring them to the attention of the higher-up are much better if such emails are sent to Ms. Gibson so she can forward them if she deems it necessary.

Mr. MacDowell has previously been very helpful to me, and Mr. Bonine seemed supportive of my efforts at the 2018 state championships.  So please be polite should you wish to express your dissatisfaction via an email. 

In the initial letter I received from the LHSAA I was told I might want to talk to the owner of RomaPics, Rusty Costanza.  I really could not think of a reason to contact Mr. Romaguera.  However, if you are a parent or fan and would like to learn what you need to do to buy RomaPics photographs, or for any other reason that might come to you, his email address is

If you would like make sure your messages are received by the LHSAA, there is another way.  Tangible letters weigh more than cyber ones.

12720 Old Hammond Highway
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70816

Do keep in mind that barring such a miracle RomaPics will be your only option to buy photographs for this year's state championships.  Do I think RomaPics was a major influence in the LHSAA's decision to stiffen their media credentials rules?  Absolutely!  Do I think submitting samples of RomaPics photographs next to my photographs from the 2018 state championships?  Yet, people can be that petty.


Yours sincerely,


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