Allan Hatcher and Kevin Gertz chimed in about realignment on Tuesday afternoon during basketball picture day at Logan High School.
Under the new WVSSAC plan which goes into effect next season, Logan will be dropping from Class AAA to AA.
LHS will stay there for four seasons through the 2019-20 school year.
Logan was last a Double-A member from 2003-08.
Hatcher, the new Logan boys’ basketball coach, said he has mixed feelings about going back to Class AA, while Gertz, the LHS girls’ basketball coach and assistant baseball coach, said it’s a good move for the school.
“I have mixed feelings about it,” said Hatcher, who replaced his son Mark as the Wildcats’ basketball coach this season and came from Chapmanville Regional High School. “I really like playing in Triple-A but I think the general consensus with our coaches and administrators is that we would be better off going Double-A.”
Hatcher said there’s talk about Logan rejoining the Cardinal Conference again, a Class AA-only league.
“What’s in question is that if we are going to play in the Cardinal Conference and how many teams the Cardinal Conference is going to have. There’s a lot of speculation about that,” he said. “Nobody really knows right now what is going to happen but the general consensus is that Double-A would be the best fit for us.”
Logan has had success as both a Triple-A and Double-A school.
During the recent swing as a 2A school during the 2000s, Logan brought home two state baseball championships, a softball state title and a boys’ basketball crown in 2005.
Since going back up to Triple-A, Logan won a state championship in boys’ basketball in 2010.
Gertz said it’s a numbers game and Logan is better suited to compete as a Double-A school.
“I do like Triple-A but we’re not a Triple-A school,” he said. “I don’t think that we were a Triple-A school with this last count although we do have a state championship. But year in and year out you can’t compete against schools with almost 2,000 kids. That’s crazy. We may not win a title in any sport here in Double-A but at least we will have an equal chance with schools relatively the same size.
“I’m excited because when we went down to Double-A before we won several state titles and played for several more. We may or may not be as successful this time but at least you have a chance.”
Logan’s baseball program, coached by Roger Gertz, won 2A state championships in 2005 and 2008.
Since going back up to Triple-A, Logan has only made one single trip to the state baseball tourney back in 2009.
The Wildcats have had stacked teams, including last year’s squad which was led by first-team all-state catcher Z. Minnick.
Just getting out of the Class AAA sectional against Nitro and St. Albans has proven to be tough the last few years.
“And we had a heck of a baseball team last year,” Kevin Gertz said.
Man High School will also make the jump from Class A to Double-A next season.
“Man is coming up to Double-A and they have been extremely successful in Single-A,” Gertz said. “They can be successful in Double-A but they are going to see how day in and day out that it’s going to be tougher to compete when you go up. They are going to play schools that will be only 150 to 200 more than them. Sometimes we play schools with more than 1,000 than us. A lot of those schools have better athletes walking the halls that aren’t playing that are better than what you have in a smaller school that are playing.”
The WVSSAC is currently working on sectional alignment.
It’s unclear where Logan will be placed.
One plan has Logan taking Tolsia’s spot in the Class AA sectional currently being occupied by Chapmanville, Scott, Wayne and Mingo Central. Tolsia is dropping to Single-A next season.
Man, Wyoming East and Westside are other nearby Class AA schools in the southern Coalfields.
“That wouldn’t be a bad thing,” Gertz said of going back into Logan’s old sectional with Chapmanville and Scott. “Right now, I’m so glad to get away from Huntington, Cabell Midland and Spring Valley every year. It’s tough. Any section that we’re going to be in next year is going to be tough in every sport but it’s going to be a lot more competitive than what we’ve gone through. We’ve done pretty good in girls’ basketball in the sectionals over the last five years. We’ve only been out of one of them. Just about everybody is glad, however, that we are going to be going down to Double-A.”
(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).