In a little more than a month members of the Logan High School football team will be suiting up for real with the start of regular practices on Aug. 1.
Logan was set to wrap up its three-week June summer practice period this week.
It’s been a productive period indeed for the Wildcats, which hope to bounce back from lats year’s 4-6 record.
Logan will open the regular season, as always, with traditional county rival Man but this year there will be twist to that rivalry.
The game has been moved up a day to a Thursday night on Aug. 25 as the Wildcats and Hillbillies will meet on the Logan Stadium Field Turf.
It will be one of only a couple of other games on the schedule that night as most teams will open the next night on a Friday.
Logan coach Gary Mullins said his team is already pumped about the season opener and being in the state’s spotlight.
“We love it,” said Mullins, taking time to talk to the Logan Banner before last Friday’s 7-on-7 scrimmage at home against Chapmanville, Scott and Poca. “I’ve been trying to get this done the last four or five years. Me and Coach Harvey Arms were finally able to get on the same page. I don’t think that I could get any more excited and I don’t even get to play in it.”
Mullins said he expects an overflow crowd at the Logan-Man game — even more fans than the norm. The Billies are also making their return to the Double-A ranks this fall as well after spending more than a decade at the Single-A level.
“There’s fans at Chapmanville, Scott and Mingo Central and also Wayne, Wyoming East and Westside,” Mullins said. “None of those teams play that night so they can all come over to the game. We’re expecting a real big crowd so you’d better get here early.”
Mullins also announced Logan’s preseason foes.
On Aug. 13, Logan will travel to Tug Valley High School in Naugatuck to scrimmage host Tug and Paintsville (Ky.).
It’s the third straight year the Wildcats have scrimmaged against the Panthers and the Tigers.
Two years ago, the three teams met at Logan. Then last year, the trio held a triangular scrimmage at Magoffin County High School in Salyersville, Ky.
Logan, which is making its return to the Class AA Cardinal Conference for the first time since 2008, is then slated to play Mingo Central on Aug. 20 at 5:30 p.m. in the Cardinal Conference Gridorama at the Scott High School football field in Madison.
All 10 teams will take part in the five-game preseason event, including other new affiliates Winfield and Nitro, a pair of former Class AAA schools.
Chapmanville is slated to play Winfield in the Gridorama opener at 10 a.m. The Tigers have their first scrimmage on Aug. 13 at Valley Fayette.
Logan looks to be exceptionally strong this season on the offensive end.
The three-week period has allowed the Wildcats to bring rising freshman quarterback David Early into the system.
His progress has been good, Mullins said. Logan also has plenty of talent at wide receiver.
“We’re very good and very deep at wide receiver,” Mullins said. “I don’t see how anybody could be any better than Jamal Minter in Double-A at wide receiver. I’m not saying that he’s going to be the best but I think that he will be the best. In the secondary, too, he’s everywhere on defense. We will rotate in there Chuckie Felder, Michael Hall, Skyler Miller, Daniel Browning, Devin Hensley and Tyler Browning. We’re going to play a bunch of different guys in there. We also have Trice Boatwright. We’re going to get as many out there that can compete.”
(Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner).