Since Augustine Chukwu-Noe comes from Nigeria, he didn’t get much of a chance to play football in his home country.
Chukwu-Noe came to Logan High School last year to play basketball for the Wildcats.
And by the end of the season after being declared eligible last January, he was a big part of Logan’s roundball success as the Cats enjoyed a winning campaign.
This year, Chukwu-Noe is taking on a new sport.
Or as the rest of the world outside the United States and Canada calls it, American football.
Chukwu-Noe, who has played on special teams and spot action on both sides of the ball, is quickly catching on and helping Logan on the gridiron so far this fall.
Chukwu-Noe, who stands over 6-foot-3 and weighs 215 pounds, is a senior wide receiver and defensive back.
He’s also Logan’s backup kicker and stepped in for the injured Chris Watkins last Friday. In last week’s 44-12 road victory at Lincoln County, Chukwu-Noe kicked a 28-yard field goal and was 3-for-5 in his point after touchdown boots.
In addition, he got two carries out the backfield and went for 11 yards and recorded a special teams tackle and a quarterback sack.
On the season, Chukwu-Noe has 11 tackles, many of them on special teams, and also has a 25-yard catch as a receiver.
He’s played several positions and is very versatile.
Logan coach Gary Mullins said he’s a fast learner and glad that he’s playing football for the Wildcats this season.
“He kicked a field goal last week for us,” Mullins said. “He makes a lot of special teams tackles. We also use him some at outside linebacker and at nose guard. He’s never played football before in his life but he’s learning. He’s a great kid, a top-notch kid. He’s very respectful. Football is not an easy sport to learn if you have never played it before or if you don’t have a background with it.”
Mullins said Chukwu-Noe has improved greatly and it’s too bad that he’s a senior and this is his first and last year with the Cats.
“We got him out some this summer in our three-week practice period,” he said. “He’s getting better every week and he’s getting to play more every week. It’s a shame that we will only get him for one year because he’s really talented and he works really hard. By the end of the year he’ll be one of the best players out on the field no matter who we are playing.”
Mullins said Chukwu-Noe is very strong.
If you saw any Logan basketball games at the field house last winter you already know that.
“He made a tackle last week where he really didn’t tackle the guy. He just shoved him and he went back five yards and tumbled out of bounds just because of how strong that he is,” Mullins said. “He’s just such a great kid.”
A couple of weeks ago in Logan’s road win at Shady Spring, Chukwu-Noe caught a pass and went for a big gainer.
Mullins said he’s a gifted athlete and can play anywhere on the field.
“He caught a ball from the slot and went 25 yards. He’s fast, too,” Mullins said. “Him and Matthew Cox and Michael Hall are the three fastest players that we have on the team. If we can get him out in space he’s going to cause problems for people. We’re just trying to make sure that he understands everything that is going on out there on the field. Every week, he gets better and better and every week you come to the game we’ll expect him to do more and more.”
Watkins, who began the season as Logan’s starting kicker, was out last week with a sprained ankle, Mullins said.
“He’s questionable again this week. We’re not sure how long that he will be out,” he said.
Logan (2-1) is scheduled to host Point Pleasant (3-0) this Friday night in its home opener. The Big Blacks are ranked No. 6 in the state in this week’s SSAC Ratings. Logan is 12th.
Mullins said Cody Maynard, a linebacker, is most likely out for the season due to a knee injury. He was hurt earlier in the season.
“The prognosis doesn’t look very good on his knee,” Mullins said.
Devonte Tolliver, Logan’s starting running back with Matthew Cox, is still out with an injured ankle. Mullins said he’s also listed as questionable.
Trice Boatwright is also expected back from injury this week, Mullins said.
“In football, there’s going to be injuries,” he said. “The teams that can bounce back and keep making plays are going to be good and the teams that use that as excuses are going to be bad. We try to move on and keep getting better every day.”
Home sweet home
After opening the season with three straight away games, Logan is finally home on Friday night.
The Cats will be home in five out of the last seven games.
Logan has played twice already on natural grass at Shady and at Lincoln County. The Cats have only one more game on grass this season — Oct. 23 at Sissonville.
LHS has the five home games on turf and its Sept. 25 game at Chapmanville which will also be on Field Turf.
Logan has other home games against Greenbrier East, John Marshall, Oak Hill and Scott this season.
(Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached at 304-752-6950 ext. 1730, by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner).