It's the kind of statistic that can draw a skeptical eye: Three of the five newly-crowned state football champions in pigskin-crazed Louisiana hail from a locations within a five mail radius of one another, and that victory-rich strip of land is nowhere near New Orleans.
Incredibly, that stat is true.
As reported by the Monroe News-Star, Louisiana 5A back-to-back champion West Monroe (La.) High, Class 4A champion Monroe (La.) Neville High and Class 1A title-winner Ouachita (La.) Christian School are all located in Ouachita Parish, a small Louisiana region which includes the towns of Monroe, West Monroe and not much else.
"They've got a fine football team," West Monroe coach Don Shows told the News-Star of Carencro, which the Rebels knocked off to claim the school's eighth state title. "They're outstanding, and this will be one of the all-time wins since I've been at West Monroe."
Despite the fact that the area has only a tiny fraction of the number of schools in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Shreveport and other major cities, Ouachita Parish somehow ended up as a football mecca in 2011, hosting the top teams in all three of those storied divisions, with both 14-0 Neville (number 58) and 13-2 West Monroe (number 86) finishing in the RivalsHigh 100 as well.
What may be more surprising about the triple champion statistic is that Ouachita Parish was the first in Louisiana to even send three teams to state title games in the same season. Considering the fact that the Louisiana High School Athletic Association has been crowning state champions for 85 years, that's an incredible feat in itself.
For all three to win their games, of course, is even more stunning. Whether it will ever happen again is a legitimate doubt, but one thing is certain: It would be foolish to count the Ouachita Parish schools from making it back after what each achieved in 2011.