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Javell Heggs takes charge as La Follette's girls track coach

Jon Masson | Wisconsin State Journal

Javell Heggs has begun his first in-person season as the Madison La Follette girls track and field coach, according to a release from La Follette athletic director Tim Rockhold.

It is Heggs’ second season as coach but is his first full opportunity for in-person coaching after the WIAA canceled spring competitions and tournament series, including track and field, last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Heggs has eagerly awaited the opportunity.

“I have coached about 30 years, but I never would have thought that we would have a crisis that impacted high school sports in such a way,” Heggs said in the release. “Our kids have gone through so much!”

He added: “COVID was one thing, but the social issues and the isolation that our students face is really hard to overcome. We just try to provide as much support that we can, but love for each other is the real goal.”

Heggs, who is from St. Louis and competed in athletics at Southern Illinois University, has coached many sports in more than 24 years of coaching at La Follette. He’s helped produce five state champions.

“It was great to have the successes I have shared with past athletes, but what that has done is prepare me for helping student-athletes now,” Heggs said. “I want to stress being prepared for competition, but getting my current students ready for life and athletics is my goal. These current students, combined with the many that I already have coached, will do great things and right many wrongs. They will be the architects of a better world and everyone will be better for it.”

Rockhold said that “you don’t have to talk too long to coach Heggs to understand how passionate he is to coach. Coaching is one thing, but his drive to develop skills of kindness and compassion for others is what he really stands for.”

La Follette principal Devon LaRosa said: “Coach Heggs is an example of leading with love in your heart. He keeps kids at the center and in this heart and reminds us to do the same.”

Heggs is an educational assistant for La Follette, helping students with academics in study hall and also helping them in displaying good citizenship, according to the release. He's also coached football.

“We just focus on what we need to do and how we need to do it,” Heggs said of coaching during this unique time. “We are following the guidelines, listening to the advisers and supporting each other; decision-makers included. If everyone focuses on doing their job and what we need to do for each other, we will defeat all health, social and athletic hurdles that try to stand in our way.”

This article was originally published by the Wisconsin State Journal on May 1, 2021. To view the full story on their website, please click here.

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