The La Follette athletics program, as with all things, has its ups and downs. Since 1967, La Follette has won a football state championship, two track and field state championships, three basketball state championships, two volleyball state championships, seven dance and cheer state titles, one for golf, two for cross country, six runner-up state titles, and eight individual state champs in various sports. La Follette’s accomplishments go fairly unknown however, usually being drowned out by the school’s negative reputation. Last year, former Athletic Director Kevin Porter resigned to take a job at Mansfield High School in his hometown of Mansfield, Ohio, leaving the athletic director spot open for the 2019-2020 school year. La Follette’s new principal Mr. LaRosa reached out to Mark Krall (no relation to LHS math teacher and girls cross country coach Matt Krall). Krall said he was looking for something a little different and maybe even a challenge, so the athletic director position at La Follette seemed like the perfect job.
Krall has a very constructive mindset for the future of the La Follette athletic program. He wants to create a positive environment for everyone, whether they are an athlete or not. He also wants to ensure that the way the community views La Follette is both accurate and beneficial for the school, and make sure that student athletes, teachers, and coaches all receive the respect they deserve.
Krall envisions a forward-looking environment in La Follette’s future where sports are a productive endeavor for everyone involved. “I want to help kids become well-rounded as athletes, but also as just people in general,” Krall said. It is his goal to change the culture of what it means to be an athlete here at La Follette. He wants to see kids working hard not just in athletics but also in the classroom, and to be valuable influences in the community.
Possibly the hardest task Krall is taking on as Athletic Director is to create a more positive reputation and community view for the school. La Follette has taken a hard hit from the media in the last few years due to some unfortunate events that took place here at the school. There are a lot of good things going on at La Follette that are ignored. Krall’s goal is for La Follette to get credit and keep these accomplishments thriving. “I know what it is like to fail,” Krall said, “but I also believe that if you want success and try hard anything is possible, not just in sports but in the classroom as well.”
Krall wants to make sure that his presence here at La Follette is accessible for everyone here in the La Follette community. “I’m always available to help all students and teachers to improve their lives in any way I can and enjoy what they do here at La Follette,” Krall said. He wants everyone to feel safe and that they have a place here at LHS.
Subsequently, this new staff change should be a positive adjustment here at La Follette. Porter will certainly be noticed in his absence and missed in these coming years, but in the meantime it will be inspiring to see the beneficial development of the athletic program and La Follette as a whole with the help of Mark Krall.