New athletic director sets goals so Tigers thrive on, off field

Elizabeth Herbert

Slatonite Intern

Slaton High School athletics have seen a few changes over the last year.

Athletic Director and Head Football Coach Lawrence Johnson said he plans to encourage discipline and consistency in his new role.

“Going into my first year as Athletic Director and Head Football Coach, my plan is to establish a culture based off discipline,” he said. “Everything else will fall in line once that has been established often and consistently.”

Johnson will not be the only one enforcing discipline as he said other coaches also have high expectations for their student athletes.

“We have strong coaches in place on both sides to implement an effective, disciplined approach to success in the classroom and the playing environment,” Johnson said.

Aside from discipline, Johnson said trust is crucial to overall success.

As a coach, Johnson said he understands the importance of growing trusting relationships with students and looks forward to fulfilling his responsibilities.

“We have been blessed to retain all but one coach on both sides, so the relationships have already been made with our athletes,” he said.

“The trust process is in place and I am going to show kids with actions that they can trust me.”

Johnson said he expects his coaching staffs to set realistic standards for all student athletes in order to help them do well both in and out of the classroom.

“My expectations for all of our coaches is simple: hold kids accountable without enabling them and be consistent with discipline,” he said. “My vision for Tigers and Tigerettes is to ‘graduate and win!’”

Although most of the coaching staff has remained the same, there is a new football coach, Anthony Garza.

“He brings experience and value to multiple sports that will benefit both the boys’ and girls’ side,” Johnson said.

Being an athletic director while dealing with COVID-19 concerns proposes many challenges, and Johnson said he has been keeping up with both district and University Interscholastic League rules.

“At this point, we are continuing to be in compliance with District and requirements in regard to summer strength and conditioning,” he said.

“We are all prepared to make adjustments as UIL makes changes throughout the remainder of the summer leading into the school year.”

Fall sports are also on Johnson’s mind as he said he would like them to be safely conducted during the school year.

“We are all still hopeful for fall sports to get an opportunity to safely compete and will ensure our athletes safety is our first priority,” he said.

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