LOGAN — Logan’s spacious Willie Akers Arena is generally regarded as one of the top high school basketball gyms in the state of West Virginia.
With its history, the atmosphere and all its majesty, the home of the Wildcats is a great place to watch a high school basketball game.
Dating back to the 1950s, Willie Akers Arena was home to Logan High School’s seven state championship teams of 1964, 1977, 1978, 1983, 1991, 2005 and 2010 under former coaches Willie Akers, Vic Herbert and Mark Hatcher.
If you are a Logan Wildcat boys basketball fan you look forward to seeing the blue and gold take to floor.
But you’ll have to wait a little longer this season.
You’ll have to wait until 2020.
That’s because Logan’s first 10 home games are all on the road or at least on neutral hardwoods.
Logan’s home opener is not until Jan. 14, 2020 as county rival and two-time defending state champion Chapmanville comes to town. Last year’s home game against the Tigers drew an overflow crowd of 3,000 fans and is expected to do the same this season.
“We had a couple of home games there but we got into the tournament in Tennessee so we had to move those home games,” Logan coach Zach Green said. “But then I realized that we had 10 straight games on the road but it was too late. It’s a challenge and it’s going to be different. But a bunch of those games are neutral games. They will not all be on someone’s home floor. This wasn’t done this way on purpose but we’ll see what happens, see if it works out and see if it’s something that we will continue to do.”
After the opener at Hoover, Logan travels to Scott on Dec. 17, then plays in the Smoky Mountain Shootout in Gatlinburg, Tennessee on Dec. 19-21.
Logan then heads to Beckley for the Battle of the Armory on Dec. 27-28.
The Wildcats play at Mingo Central on Jan. 3, travel to Man on Jan. 4 and then head to Wayne on Jan. 7 before finally playing a home game.
Logan closes out the season with eight out of its last 11 games at home.
“The good news is that come January and February we’re going to have a bunch of home games all in a row and we won’t have to travel a lot,” Green said. “So we are accepting this challenge and going with it. One thing that I always like to do is to play at tough schedule. I want to challenge my guys and that lets our guys know where we stand.”
HEADED TO ROCKY TOP: The Tennessee tourney over Christmas break is one of the highlights of Logan’s 2019-20 schedule.
The Wildcats are slated to play three games there, opening ith Muscle Shoals, Alabama.
“We’re going to the Smoky Mountain Shootout in Gatlinburg, Tennessee and that’s a three-day tournament,” Green said. “In our first game I who that we play Muscle Shoals, Alabama. I’m not sure who we will play after that. It depends on whether we win or lose.”
Green said the team will be staying in a large cabin instead of hotel rooms.
“We are really looking forward to it,” he said. “We have rented them a big cabin for them and we are going to doing some really cool team bonding things while we are down there. I think that it’s going to be a really good experience for the guys.”
After leaving Tennessee, the Wildcats then are set to play in the Battle of the Armory at Beckley.
“When we get back then we are going to go down to Beckley for the Battle of the Armory,” Green said. “We play Beckley in our first game and then on the other side of the bracket I think is George Washington. It’s going to be another tough tournament down there.”
KING COAL CLASSIC: Logan will once again host the King Coal Classic, a two-day tourney set for Jan. 31-Feb. 1 at Willie Akers Arena.
The opening game on Jan. 31 has Tug Valley playing Parkersburg Catholic. Logan then faces Wesley Christian, Ky., in the nightcap. The Cats were originally slated to face Huntington St. Joe but the Bluegrass State prep team has been tabbed as the replacement team for the Irish.
“That’s going to be a really tough game for us,” Green said. “They are really good.”
Then on Feb. 1, George Washington takes on Wesley Christian in the first game and Logan squares off with Parkersburg Catholic in the closer.
“It’s a good little schedule. We don’t have as many teams as we normally have,” Green said. “But we think that it’s going to be really good games that we have. We are trying to get a middle school game for the early game on Saturday but that hasn’t been set yet.”
PRESEASON: Logan has two preseason scrimmages set.
On Nov. 30, the Wildcats play host Martin County, Ky., in the Zip Zone Classic at the new Martin County High School in Inez, Ky. Game time is set for 7:15 p.m. Chapmanville plays Louisville Trinity, Ky., in the preceding game at 5:30 p.m.
The Wildcats then play host to Lincoln County in a second scrimmage on a date to be named later.
Green said practices have been going very good.
“Practices have went extremely well so far,” Green said. “Our second practice might have been our best practice that we’ve had in my four years here. We have a really young group of hungry guys that are working extremely hard. They come in every day trying to get better. They are wanting to learn. It’s really been good so far.”
2019-20 Logan High School
Boys’ Basketball Schedule:
Dec. 10: *at Hebert Hoover, 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 17: *at Scott, 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 19-21: at Smoky Mountain Shootout (Gatlinburg, Tenn.), TBA
Dec. 27-28: at Battle of The Armory (Beckley, W.Va.), TBA
Jan. 3: *at Mingo Central, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 4: at Man, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 7: *at Wayne, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 14: *Chapmanville, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 17: *Wayne, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 21: *at Nitro, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 28: *Mingo Central, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 31: Wesley Christian, Ky. (King Coal Classic at Logan), 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 1: Parkersburg Catholic (King Coal Classic at Logan), 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 4: *at Chapmanville, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 7: *Scott, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 11: *at Poca, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 14: Man, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 15: *Winfield, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 21: *Sissonville, 7:30 p.m.
*Cardinal Conference game