John Curtis looks to end rare title drought
With 26 state championships, 558 career victories and an astonishing 90 percent winning percentage, J.T. Curtis is clearly the most accomplished head coach in Louisiana prep football history and remains second in the nation in the most wins in the history of the United States. Curtis is 26-9 in state championship games and he has guided his Patriots to 42 consecutive state playoff appearances. Despite still being very active, Curtis was inducted into the National Federation of High School Associations Hall of Fame in 2015.
The Patriots have enjoyed unparalleled success and 2016 produced another milestone as John Curtis claimed its first Catholic League championship in just its second year since joining the district by posting a 6-0 mark.
Unfortunately, the Curtis season ended as it did in 2015, losing in the state semifinals. When you add the championship game loss to Jesuit in 2014 in Division I, it has been a three-year drought in state championships for the Patriots, the longest such drought since 1974, before Curtis won its first-ever state title in 1975.
To say that Curtis is hungry and motivated would be accurate, perhaps even an understatement. To say that the Patriots are talented enough and prepared well to end the drought in 2017 would be accurate.
“It’s been different but we have had an opportunity to compete for it,” Curtis said. “The teams that we’ve lost to have won it or reached the final. We’re right there. The teams we’ve lost to were very good. We’ve competed at a high level, as we want to do every year. You have to recognize that you’ve lost to outstanding teams.”
As you might imagine, the Patriots will play a very difficult schedule.
Curtis opens at Behrman Stadium against defending 5A state champion Landry-Walker on Sept. 1 before traveling to Independence Stadium in Shreveport to take Grayson, GA in the annual Battle on the Border. The Rams are a powerhouse team, ranked seventh in the nation by MaxPreps. Week three finds Curtis in Baton Rouge to take on Division II power Parkview Baptist.
“We play three recent state champions in the first three games,” Curtis said. “The question I get asked is who made the schedule. That’s a difficult question to answer because obviously, it was me. They look at me like they thought it was somebody else that stupid. We play good teams. We always have. The team out of Georgia won a 7A state championship last year. All that will do is get our guys in a position to mature and grow up quickly. I have no problem playing good people to help us compete in our tough district.”
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