Gary Mullins seems pretty pleased with the Logan High School football team’s progress during the three-week June summer practice period.
The session ends this week and the Wildcats will reconvene after a month off on Aug. 1 for the start of regular practices.
Competition breeds competition and Logan has seen its share the last couple of weeks.
Logan, 4-6 last year, is scheduled to open the regular season on Aug. 25 at home against county rival Man.
The Wildcats took part in a four-team 7-on-7 scrimmage last Friday at home against Chapmanville, Poca and Scott — all Cardinal Conference teams.
“We’ve got great kids and they have been working very hard,” said Mullins, who is entering his 13th year as head coach of the Cats. “There’s been good competition in a lot of positions. We’ve been building and getting better the last couple of years. With think that if we can get all of these guys out and get a few more with them that we’ve got a chance to be a pretty good team.”
Mullins said he’s not a big fan of the 7-on-7s but added that his players really love it since its a chance to compete against other teams in game-like situations.
“I don’t really like it but they do,” he said. “I do it for them but it’s not football because, like me, I would have never been a very good 7-on-7 player. I was built to be physical. I’ve got to grab you and push you and do all of the things that you’re not able to do in 7-on-7s. I’ve had great teams before in 7-on-7 then not be very good in the season. With David Toney, Khalil (Reynolds), Worm (Brynden Street) and Joe Street they were pretty good at 7-on-7 but they were nowhere near as good as they were and they were much better when they put the pads on. They were great football players. But I do it for them. They have fun playing the 7-on-7s.”
The three-week period has allowed Logan to break in its new presumptive starting quarterback, freshman David Early, and that has allowed the frosh to get acquainted with the Wildcats’ deep receiving corp.
“Jimmy Sheppard did a really good job with our offense at the middle school,” Mullins said. “He (Early) still got a lot to learn because we do things a little bit different but the little things he already knew and he was able to catch on a lot faster. He doesn’t seem to be afraid of the moment. He’s competed well. Him and Troy Cowart are, in my opinion, the two best up-and-coming ninth graders that I’ve ever had. They are the best ninth-graders physically that I’ve ever had. We feel like those two will be on the field a lot as will some others.
“Those two don’t play like freshmen. They play like juniors and seniors. They’ve had a really good camp so far.”
Taking part in the scrimmage and last week’s 7-on-7 was Logan wideout Skyler Miller, a cancer survivor.
“It’s always great to see Skyler out here,” Mullins said.
(Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner).