OPELOUSAS, La. (KLFY)JS Clark Leadership Academy has had academic success since it opened its doors 10 years ago, and now they are trying to become an elite athletic program.

But you can’t have an elite program without some great leadership.

Ross Rix has been the Bulldogs’ athletic director for almost six months and he feels that athletics can reach new heights.

“The foundation academically is very solid and that’s why we think it’s time to take the athletic department to another level,” Rix said.

So what sports are already at JS Clark?

“Currently we have cross-country, track and field, and basketball,” Rix said. Soon, football too as JS Clark hired Ross Akpan to become their first head football coach.

Akpan comes from Madison Prep in Baton Rouge where he helped lead the chargers to a 3A state championship in 2020 as their offensive coordinator.

Akpan said that JS Clark is no different from Madison Prep.

“JS Clark is already a powerhouse. We’re here to bring a quality program to St. Landry Parish and I’m the missing piece to the puzzle,” he said.

Tiffanie Lewis, founder and CEO of JS Clark said that adding football in 2023 is another boost for the program.

“Football is a big thing in Louisiana and it was just the next step to solidify our athletic program. we’re a young program and we look to do bigger things,” she explained.

Those bigger things will happen as long as the students know that they are scholars first.

“We don’t let students play unless they have a minimum 2.5 and some teams require a 3.0,” Lewis said.

And the end goal for JS Clark athletics is “To become champions,” answers said.

Lewis added: “Anything has the potential to be great.”

The Bulldogs are also adding baseball and softball in the near future.