Logan has ‘Early’ optimism for ‘16


By Paul Adkins - [email protected]



Logan High School football assistant coach James Toth talks to the Wildcat players during a timeout in recent action.


The Logan defense stops the Oak Hill ball carrier in last week’s game.


Logan’s David Cruz (73) and Augustine Chukwu-Noe (29) put pressure on the Oak Hill quarterback in last week’s game.


Logan’s Tyler Browning is tackled in last week’s game.


Logan QB David Early tosses a pass under pressure from Man’s Dylan Morris.


Photo by Steven Browning | For The Logan Banner

The Logan High School football team has some “Early” optimism heading into the 2016 grid season.

That’s in the form of David Early, the Logan Middle School quarterback, who absolutely tore it up for the Timberwolves this season.

Early will be a freshman next year and will suit up for the Logan high school team.

He could be one of the saviors of the Wildcats’ football progam in the coming years.

Logan High School coach Gary Mullins said Early is the best eighth-grade player he’s ever seen and can’t wait to see him suit up for the Blue and Gold next fall.

Despite Logan’s second straight losing season, the Cats are optimistic for next season and beyond.

The reason for that is threefold:

* One, Early will be playing for LHS. Early passed for more than 1,000 yards and also rushed for more than 1,000 yards in leading LMS to an 8-1 season and last week’s victory over Ripley in the Mid-Valley Championship game.

* Two, Logan has young talent coming up. In addition to Early, other incoming freshmen and also JV players will be working their way in with the LHS squad. Logan’s JV team has also quietly had a lot of success this fall with an undefeated 8-0 season.

* Three, Logan may no longer be Triple-A. If Logan drops to Class AA, the Cats will not have to tangle with some of West Virginia’s top Class AAA powerhouses anymore.

With the WVSSAC set to tackle realignment in December, there’s a chance Logan might be going back to Double-A, where it was from 2003-08.

Logan is currently a “border team” with enrollment figures in the low Class AAA and high Class AA numbers.

It will all depend on the cutoff number.

LHS coach Gary Mullins is lobbying hard for Logan to return to Double-A where he feels the Wildcats are a much better fit.

Early, a remarkable athlete, could step right in for the Wildcats next season.

Early put up XBox 360 numbers this fall for Logan Middle School as he was 33-for-62 passing for 1,017 yards with 13 touchdowns and seven two-point conversion passes. He also ran with the pigskin 97 times for 1,280 yards with 23 TDs and 11 conversion runs. On defense, Early was in on 49 tackles and had four interceptions.

“He’ll be a ninth-grader next year,” Mullins said of Early. “He’s one of the best eighth-graders that I’ve ever watched play. He’s got all of the tools that you’ve got to have to be a great player. Coach Jimmy Sheppard did a good job of teaching him the offense. He won’t have a whole lot to learn as far as offense goes. We’ll just have got to get him caught up to high school speed and the reads that you’ve got to make. We look forward to having him and all of those other players come up to play next year.

“We have a lot of young talent coming and we’re hoping to double our win total from last year and keep things rolling in the right direction.”

Logan, which went 2-8 last season, is currently 3-6 heading into Friday night’s season finale at home against Scott (2-7).

Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at Logan Stadium.

Great Scott series

It’s been a good series and an unpredictable series between Logan and Scott over the years.

No matter who is up and who is down you can always count on a lot of twists and turns.

It short, it’s anybody’s game.

Scott leads the series 7-4 over the course of the last 11 years in the Gary Mullins era at Logan.

The Skyhawks won in a 60-34 shootout last year in Madison. Logan has took two out of the last three winning 42-13 in 2013 and 16-3 in 2012.

Logan qualified for a Class AAA home playoff game in 2011 but the Skyhawks were able to pull off a 38-7 upset in the regular season finale.

There were also close games played in 2004, 2005 and 2009.

The 2010 game produced a 41-6 rout by Logan over Scott in the “Mud Bowl.” No chance of that anymore as both Scott and Logan have Field Turf.

Coach Mullins said it’s been a good series and one he hopes will continue.

“It’s a great series and we have a great relationship with them,” Mullins said. “They do a lot of things like we do. Sometimes they are a little more physical than we are. It’s a good game and we’re looking forward to it.”

Logan High School football assistant coach James Toth talks to the Wildcat players during a timeout in recent action.
http://loganbanner.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/web1_Friday-coach-James-Toth-CMYK.jpgLogan High School football assistant coach James Toth talks to the Wildcat players during a timeout in recent action.

The Logan defense stops the Oak Hill ball carrier in last week’s game.
http://loganbanner.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/web1_Friday-Logan-defense-CMYK.jpgThe Logan defense stops the Oak Hill ball carrier in last week’s game.

Logan’s David Cruz (73) and Augustine Chukwu-Noe (29) put pressure on the Oak Hill quarterback in last week’s game.
http://loganbanner.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/web1_Friday-Logan-pressure-QB-CMYK.jpgLogan’s David Cruz (73) and Augustine Chukwu-Noe (29) put pressure on the Oak Hill quarterback in last week’s game.

Logan’s Tyler Browning is tackled in last week’s game.
http://loganbanner.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/web1_Friday-Logan-Tyler-Browning-CMYK.jpgLogan’s Tyler Browning is tackled in last week’s game.

Logan QB David Early tosses a pass under pressure from Man’s Dylan Morris.
http://loganbanner.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/web1_Sunday-MMS-LMS-Dylan-Morris-pressures-Early-CMYK.jpgLogan QB David Early tosses a pass under pressure from Man’s Dylan Morris. Photo by Steven Browning | For The Logan Banner

By Paul Adkins

[email protected]

(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).

(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).

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