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LOGAN — Simply put, the Logan High School defense had trouble stopping opponents last season.

The Wildcats surrendered an average of 50.2 points per game en route to a 1-9 season and a 1-8 showing in the Cardinal Conference which tied Logan for last place with Scott and Wayne, which also had identical 1-8 league marks.

Logan did have one bright spot — a 35-0 shutout win over Scott in its 2019 homecoming game.

The Wildcats to shore up its defense this season, utilizing its sound secondary with a new 3-3-5 scheme.

“Last year we were more of a 3-4 team. This year, we are going to be a 3-3-5, just because we have so many defensive backs,” Logan coach Jimmy Sheppard said. “We feel that this is the best defense that we can put out there to get our best 11 guys on the field. We return a lot of people that have had playing time.”

Aiden Slack and Kolton Goldie, a third year starter in the defensive backfield, are back this fall to lead Logan’s deep and talented secondary.

Slack is the leading returning tackler from last year’s team as he had 70 stops a year ago. Goldie had 69 tackles, a forced fumble and an interception.

Cameron Hensley, another three-year starter, also returns to the defensive backfield.

Tyler Fenwick, who transferred to Logan last year from Florida, is back too, as well as Corey Townsend and Dawson Maynard.

“Both Goldie and Hensley have started since they were freshmen,” Sheppard said. “Last year, we ended up moving Kolton to safety because we had the addition of Tyler Fenwick who moved here from Florida. We have all of our players back in our defensive secondary from last year. They did a good job last year in coverage. The problem that we had last year was that we couldn’t stop anyone from running the ball right at us.”

Noah McNeely and Hunter White are two of Logan’s top players coming back on the defensive line.

“Noah McNeely will flip over and play on the defensive line,” Sheppard said. “Hunter White started for us last year at guard on offense but this year we are going to try to get him more on defense playing the nose guard position.”

Caden Dotson is also being pushed up to the D-line from last year’s linebacker post. He logged 52 tackles last season.

“Caden Dotson played inside linebacker for us last year but this year he’s going to move down to the defensive line,” Sheppard said.

Sheppard said Logan must improve defensively this fall.

“We couldn’t stop anyone running right at us last year so that’s been one of our focuses during the off-season — improving our run defense,” he said. “We want to be more physical.”

Chance Maynard, a junior and returning starter, comes back this season at linebacker. Justin Collins, who sat out last year, is also expected to contribute.

“We get Justin Collins back this year. He sat out last year,” Sheppard said. “He’ll be a big part of what we do. He will be the Mike linebacker in the middle. It’s going to be great having him in the middle of our defense.”

Mikah Adams, another linebacker who sat out last year due to injury, is back.

“Mikah broke his collar bone in a 7 on 7 scrimmage and had to sit out,” Sheppard said.

Logan is scheduled to open its eight-game season lon September 18 at home against defending Cardinal Conference champion Poca.

The first two games against Sissonville on September 4 and at Mingo Central on September 11 have been canceled due to COVID-19 concerns and Logan County being initially deemed a red “hot spot” county.

The traditional opener with Man had been previously been wiped out.

Football practices were slated to begin on Monday in Logan County.

Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. Follow him on Twitter at @PAdkinsBanner or email him at padkins@hdmediallc.com