The high school football season can’t get here quick enough for the Logan Wildcats and head coach Gary Mullins.
After last year’s 8-3 season and first Class AAA home playoff game since 1990, Logan has been looking forward to hitting the gridiron again.
The Wildcats, seeded fourth, were beaten handily 51-8 by Parkersburg South in the opening round of the Class AAA playoffs at Logan Stadium but the result did not dampen the overall success of the 2011 season.
Logan began practices for the new 2012 campaign on Monday and held its annual Picture Day on Friday.
With a roster 55 players strong, the Wildcats look like they’re ready to go.
“We’re at 55 right now and we hope to get a couple more,” said Coach Mullins, now in his ninth year as the Logan mentor. “Somewhere between 55 and 60 is where we look like we’re going to end up. So far, practices have gone very well. It’s been real smooth. We’ve had the basic same coaching staff in some shape or form for a long time. With Jason (Davis) coming back up with us this year on the coaching staff it’s like he was never gone because he was always on our staff when he was at the middle school. With no new faces everyone knows what they are doing — coaches and players.”
Several Logan players are back this season, including senior quarterbacks Chris Marcum and Khaleel Reynolds. Marcum is also a leader in the Wildcat secondary, while Reynolds will also see time either in the backfield or at wide receiver. After Marcum’s early season knee injury, Reynolds stepped in at quarterback and Logan didn’t seem to miss a beat. Marcum was then able to return under center late in the season.
Plenty of defenders are back as well, and Logan is practicularly strong and deep in the secondary as starter Worm Street and others are back.
Logan is scheduled to get the season started on Aug. 24 at home against traditional county rival Man. The Wildcats beat the Hillbillies 30-7 last year at Man.
After taking on the Billies, Logan then hosts Class AAA team and new opponent Shady Spring on Aug. 31. Shady, which moves up to Triple-A, replaces Nicholas County, which moved down to 2A after realignment.
Logan has its first preseason scrimmage on Saturday, Aug. 11 at Tug Valley in a 7 p.m. contest at Naugatuck. The Wildcats then head to Herbert Hoover High School at Falling Rock on Aug. 17 to take on Warren Local (Ohio) and the host Huskies beginning at 6 p.m.
Logan began last season 8-1, including wins over Class AA Final Four team and county rival Chapmanville (22-21), 3A power Hurricane (27-23) and 3A Huntington (28-27) before falling 38-7 at home to Scott in the regular season finale.
It was also a good summer all-star season for Logan football.
In the mid-June North-South All-Star Classic at Charleston’s Laidley Field, Logan was represented by its senior backfield duo of Joe Street and David Toney. Street was the South’s Most Valuable Player as he scored two touchdowns and rushed for 73 yards in a 36-28 overtime victory over the North. Street’s second touchdown was the eventual game winner in overtime.
Then at the July 28 Hatfield-McCoy Senior Bowl at Mingo Central High School in Newtown, Street was the Offensive MVP for the West Virginia All-Stars in its 37-12 rout over Kentucky. Street scored four of the six West Virginia touchdowns (the first four of the game as W.Va. led 25-0) and rushed for a team-high 66 yards.
Logan High School was also represented in the Senior Bowl by seniors Zach Ellis and bookend linemen Marc Morris, Matt Southers and Tyler Nelson. The linemen helped open holes down in the trenches as West Virginia virtually controlled the line of scrimmage. Ellis played mostly on special teams and made one extra point.
Mullins said he went to watch the game and liked what he saw.
“Joe looked pretty good with four touchdowns. As you saw, when you get inside the 10-yard line, he’s a hard guy to bring down,” Mullins said. “Watching that game and the North-South Game there was no doubt in my mind why we were good last year. Those guys really represented us really well. We couldn’t be prouder of those guys.”