Georgiana centers new track team on coach Al Landwehr

Published 6:15 pm Friday, December 1, 2017

By Matt Hutcheson

Georgiana’s burgeoning athletic department has received a significant boost with the addition of accomplished track and field coach Al Landwehr. Georgiana students- around 96 in total- packed into San Pedro’s Mexican Grill in Greenville on Thursday for lunch, and rousing speeches from Superintendent Dr. John Stryker and Landwehr.

Stryker, waving a picture of storied track and field star Steve Prefontaine, drummed up enthusiasm and rallied students around the promise of “[giving] the Georgiana community something to believe in.”

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“Your younger brothers and sisters and cousins that are in elementary school… they need to see you guys have what it takes to go out and win a championship, and bring a championship trophy home [to Georgiana],” said Stryker to his enraptured audience. “You have a chance, trust me, to seize this moment.”

Landwehr, for his part, seemed to share the ambitious vision. His remarks focused on his goal of utilizing the considerable talent that Georgiana School is already filled with.

“If we don’t pour our time and energy into you (the students), into helping you be the best that you can be in life, then we have failed.”

The energy of the gathered students was palpable, each pause in the speech punctuated by energetic applause and cheering. And, given the ambitious promises and the sudden attention focused on the track team, their enthusiasm was warranted.

“I’m excited,” declared Landwehr, “because there’s no doubt in my mind, based on all that I’ve heard, and all that I’ve seen, that trophy case in Georgiana High School is going to be filled with a 2018 Boy’s State Championship trophy.”

Landwehr has substantial experience coaching track and field, including a 2002 AISA championship win with Fort Dale. Georgiana student Zachariah Boggan captured the excitement surrounding the new program, saying, “We’ve always wanted a track team.” 

According to Stryker, $50,000 in funding has already been secured towards uniforms and equipment for the team. Practice for spring competition will begin immediately.