Messenger photo by Dianne Garrett
Greg Lahr is the new head varsity football coach at Whitehall Yearling High School. He is confident that Whitehall can once again be a championship team. The new coach is adamant that his players also stay focused on their school work and grades, and plans to maintain a watchful eye to ensure they do.
Greg Lahr may be the new varsity football coach at Whitehall Yearling High School, but he is no stranger to the district or the team.
He has been a teacher and assistant coach at Whitehall for two years. Lahr, a Pickerington native, has been coaching since 1992, and 10 of those years were spent in his hometown as a teacher, assistant football coach and coordinator.
Prior to coming to Whitehall, he taught two years at Harvest Prep School in Canal Winchester.
He said that his experience at both of the schools prepared him well for Whitehall, noting that one was big and one was small, and now he is in a school that he describes as "mid-size."
Some of those years were successful and some not so successful, he added.
"Whitehall enjoys a great history and tradition. It still has the tradition. Now we have to get it back to a better level," said Lahr. "There have been good coaches before me, and I’m honored for the challenge and opportunity, and thankful to the administration and community for their support."
His immediate goal is get the numbers up in the program with high expectations and standards. He intends to let the kids know things will be done in a manner that will help them in the long run.
He wants to see students be successful, and not just on Friday nights. They should be successes outside of sports and academics, citing that good habits and guidance can be the gel needed.
There will be weekly grade checks, Lahr promised. "We’ve lost too many in the past with grade issues. It helps to have more kids in the program, while setting the stage for their future."
The new coach expects commitment from students and to be a part of something special.
He said that he was always blessed with good coaches who made an impact on him, and hopes to pass those same lessons and values onto his students.
He credits his coach at University of Kentucky, Jerry Claibourne, for instilling the importance of grades. "He was tough on us, but I’m thankful he was. Kids need discipline, and they actually want it even if they won’t admit it."
In the long term, Lahr’s desire is to once again see a program winning playoffs, while making it fun and rewarding.
He has met with next year’s team members, as well as assistant coaches, Mike Wilson and Jason Moomaw, who teach at Rosemore Middle School.
The team is already working out with the coaches in the weight room.
"I think kids should be involved in two sports if possible, but when not active, they should be training," Lahr.
Lahr and his wife, Missy, have an 11- year-old daughter and a 7-year-old son.