The last eight years the Logan High School football team competed at the Triple-A level.
The Wildcats had some success, making it to the playoffs three out of four years from 2010-13.
Logan coach Gary Mullins, however, always thought the Wildcats fit better as a large Double-A school since football is always a numbers game and overall depth is always sketchy.
Early in his decade’s-plus coaching tenure, the Wildcats were a Double-A school, advancing to the 2A playoffs in 2005 and 2007.
Mullins made no bones about it.
Logan might have been a longtime Class AAA school traditionally but with declining enrollment over the last few decades LHS was in fact living in a Double-A reality.
This past winter Mullins got his wish as Logan was sent back down to the Class AA ranks and LHS eventually rejoined the Cardinal Conference.
Mullins said it’s a good fit for his team moving forward.
“We were in it once before and we were once a Double-A school,” he said. “I think it’s a great conference. There’s a lot of diversity in that conference. Everyone runs a different scheme. If everyone ran the ball every down or passed every down it would be a little bit easier. Any team going into any week can get beat. It’s definitely going to be a challenge but we’re excited to be back in Double-A. That was a no-brainer for us for us to get into the conference. I’m so glad that we did.”
Logan won’t play a full conference schedule this fall because the Cats will have to honor the second year of two-year contracts against Class AAA schools Greenbrier East and John Marshall and also Point Pleasant and Oak Hill.
The Wildcats play league foes Chapmanville, Scott, Poca and Sissonville this season and in 2017 will add Mingo Central, Wayne, Nitro, Winfield and Herbert Hoover.
Logan doubled its win total to four last year as the Cats went 4-6, improving on a 2-8 mark in 2014.
Logan last reached the playoffs in 2013 and closed out 7-4 with a 41-14 loss at Point Pleasant.
Mullins said so far practices have gone very well.
The preseason camp began on Monday.
“So far it has went real well,” Mullins said. “The guys are working extremely hard. They are doing just about anything that you ask them to do. This time of the year, you find out what they are made of. The practices are long and it’s so hot but they have done really good up until this point. We have 47 players out.”
Logan will have two preseason tests beginning next Saturday, Aug. 13 as the Cats travel to Naugatuck to take on the host Tug Valley Panthers and the Paintsville (Ky.) Tigers.
This is the third straight year the trio of teams have played a triangular scrimmage.
Logan then is set to play in the Cardinal Conference Gridorama on Saturday, Aug. 20 at 5 p.m. against Winfield.
“Our first scrimmage is next Saturday at Tug Valley,” Mullins said. “We probably won’t scrimmage until about 7:15. We’re going to scrimmage against Paintsville first and then Tug Valley. The following Saturday we go to Scott for the Cardinal Conference Gridorama and we will scrimmage against Mingo Central.”
Mullins said he hopes to evaluate players in game-like situations in the preseason games.
“Our biggest thing about scrimmages is that we want to get a read on guys,” Mullins said. “We want to see how they are going to be able to compete and how we stack up against other teams at certain positions. Some guys we know how they play. It’s not as much of an evaluation thing for them. We’re going to look at some new players and younger players. We hope to come out injury-free and be ready for the first game against Man.”
2016 Logan High School
Aug. 25: Man, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 2: Poca, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 9: Lincoln County, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 16: at Point Pleasant, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 23: Chapmanville, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 30: Open Date
Oct. 7: at John Marshall, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 14: at Greenbrier East, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 21: Sissonville, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 28: at Oak Hill, 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 4: at Scott, 7:30 p.m.
(Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner).