By Paul Adkins Sports Editor
November 29, 2013
Plenty of special events are planned this season for the Logan High School basketball team.
Not only will the Wildcats host the annual King Coal Classic once again, Logan will also honor the 1964 Class AAA state championship team on Jan. 25 on the night the Wildcats host Greater Beckley Christian at Logan’s Willie Akers Arena.
It’s been 50 years since the ‘64 Logan basketball team won the state championship — the first ever for an LHS team.
The team’s championship sign hangs to the far left in the field house. Logan went on to claim six more state titles in 1977, 1978, 1983, 1991, 2005 and 2010, winning at least one state crown every decade.
Logan coach Mark Hatcher, who led the Cats to state crowns in 2005 and 2010, said the time was right to honor the ‘64 team.
“It will be a 50-year celebration,” Hatcher said. “We’ve already contacted some people who are working on that. We’re going to make that a big event. Those guys are older now. I told Jim Davidson and Jack Colandros and they were real excited. Coach Willie Akers is excited. That’s going to be really fun. We did Willie Akers Night back in 2003 and that was a great success too. We’re going to do this the same way. We’re going to have the game on a Saturday night and we’re going to go over afterwards to the middle school or the cafeteria. It should be a great celebration.”
Davidson was one of the stars on Logan’s ‘64 team and went on to play four years at Marshall University from 1965-69. In 2010, Davidson was elected to the Marshall Sports Hall of Fame.
Davidson would later help take the Herd to back-to-back trips to the NIT in 1967 and 1968. “Spider,” as he was known in Logan, is still No. 26 all-time in points and No. 20 in rebounds at Marshall. He was also a state champion high jumper for LHS.
Coach Hatcher said he’s also hoping to get a second game at the field house for Jan. 25 before the Logan-GBC contest. Hatcher said there is a possibility two out-of-state teams — Mountain Mission (Va.) and Flora McDonald (N.C.) may take on each other.
Logan sophomore Skyler Miller is back with the Logan basketball team.
Miller was diagnosed with leukemia last spring but has battled back with treatment and has beaten the disease.
Miller had hoped to return to the lineup with the Logan football team this fall but was unable to.
Coach Hatcher said the 5-foot-9 guard is back stronger than ever, has gained weight and could be a key contributor to the basketball squad this winter before it’s all said and done. Hatcher has had his own cancer scare.
“Skyler didn’t get to play football this year but he’s gained about 20 pounds since about the middle of August,” Coach Hatcher said. “He’s really worked hard. He’s been cleared to go and he’s ready to go. He takes charges. He dives on the floor. We treat him the same as everybody else. With me being a cancer patient and with him being a cancer patient we have a little bond there. He’s done great for us.”
King Coal Classic
The Logan basketball team hosts the annual King Coal Classic on Jan. 11.
The Wildcats are set to face Point Pleasant in the nightcap. Logan and Chapmanville also square off in girls’ action.
A women’s college basketball game between Fairmont and Concord is also on the schedule, Hatcher said.
“Our King Coal Classic has always been late January but we moved it up this year. We were hoping to get the Fairmont State men’s team,” Hatcher said. “But some things fell through. It’s going to be a one-day event.”
Coach Hatcher has several staff changes this season.
His brother and former assistant coach Wes Hatcher has taken the head coaching position with the Pike Central (Ky.) girls’ basketball team.
Jerry Greene returns to the staff as well as Zach Green, now in his second year with Coach Hatcher.
Three ex-Wildcats — Brandon Browning, Greg Adams and Greg “Fuji” Williams — have been added to the staff.
“It’s been pretty neat having these guys,” Hatcher said. “I love all of my former coaches but when you have guys that have played for you pretty recently and you call out a play they know the play and they know the drill. Not that those guys didn’t but it is also fun to see that your former coaches are now going on to be head coaches themselves. It’s pretty cool to see former players that you coached come back and coach the kids.”
Another former Hatcher assistant coach, Harts native Brad Napier, is in his second season as the head coach at Mingo Central.
Logan is set to host a daylong preseason panorama on Saturday beginning at noon at Willie Akers Arena.
The Cats are set to scrimmage Mingo Central and Chapmanville. The Logan-CRHS matchup is set for 3 p.m.
Logan’s regular season opener is Dec. 12 at Hurricane in a rematch of last year’s Class AAA regional championship game.