2020 Chieftains look to build on strong finish
By Spencer Waugh
LOGAN - Mike Eddy begins his second season in charge of the Logan Chieftains; but still hasn’t had a full offseason program to oversee. He was hired in early 2019 following the resignation of Billy Burke, and his team improved from 1-9 in 2018 to 4-6 in 2019.
Logan finished 2019 by winning four of their last six games, including a heartbreaking 14-7 loss in the season finale with Hamilton Township. Three of Logan’s six losses came by seven points or less.
Despite the disrupted offseason due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Eddy is optimistic about his program entering his second season.
“We’re happy with the numbers. We peaked at just over 70,” he explained, “and that includes over 20 freshmen.”
The Varsity roster has 69 total players including 21 freshmen. The numbers in the ninth grade are most encouraging, as the class only had 13 players on the roster as eighth graders last fall.
“We really can implement a lot more of what we want to do on both sides of the ball,” the coach continued.
Ian Frasure (5-10, 155, senior) will take over the quarterback duties after gaining some experience in the back half of last season. Frasure will bring a different style to the position, expect the Chiefs to throw more frequently than last season when they went to the aerial routes just over 10 times per contest.
Braeden Spatar, now playing at Tiffin University, led the Chiefs with 757 yards rushing on 177 carries while passing for 727 yards completing 60 of 97 passes. Spatar accounted for eight touchdowns split evenly between the ground and air.
While Frasure is more of a pure passer, opponents who ignore his legs do so at their own peril. The senior ran for a 51-yard touchdown last fall and added a 95-yard scoring run in the Chiefs’ jamboree scrimmage against Marietta last week.
Sophomores Brayden Sturgell (6-0, 155) and Hunter Hill (6-0, 150) are available as backups.
Caden McCarty (6-0, 185, senior) had a breakout season last fall as the feature running back, gaining 755 yards and scoring 12 times on 163 carries in nine games. Logan hopes to spring the speedy ball carrier for more big plays after he was limited to a long of just 38 yards last fall.
Sophomore Varik Fick (5-11, 150) and senior Cody Carrell (5-8, 170) provide depth in the LHS backfield.
Traten Poling (6-0, 190, junior) brings versatility to the offense. The junior ran for 107 yards on 19 carries while catching ten passes for 147 yards and a score as a sophomore. Poling can line-up in the backfield, in the slot, or on the outside as a wide receiver.
Jonny McClelland (6-0, 175, senior) will play primarily in the slot. The senior caught six passes for 66 yards and ran eight times for 39 yards last fall.
Senior Brandon Heft (6-2, 165, senior) figured to lead a green receiving corps., but suffered a shoulder injury and will miss at least the start of the season. Owen Angle (6-1, 165, junior), Hill, Sturgell, Alex Thompson (5-7, 150, sophomore), and Izaac Swope (5-8, 135, sophomore) will all get opportunities to contribute at receiver.
Up front, junior Keiton Arledge (6-3, 330) is the lone returning starter and will anchor the offensive line. Logan rarely had to call on backups to the offensive line, so replacing the reliable forward wall will be the biggest challenge for the LHS coaching staff. Quinn Walsh (6-1, 230, senior) acted as the sixth offensive lineman last fall and will get the first crack at the snapping chores. Tyler Kost (6-1, 185, senior) and Carson Hodson (6-1, 215, junior) earned letters last fall and figure to play the guard posts while Mason Linton (5-8, 235, junior) and Lane Welker (6-4, 290, senior) are battling to win the right tackle job.
Henry Pierce (6-2, 190, senior) will play tight end along with Justin Mustard (6-0, 165, junior) and Ian Allen (6-2, 175, senior).
The Chieftains made major strides defensively in 2019, holding opponents to 20 points per game. It was Logan’s best defensive performance from a points-per-game standpoint in a decade.
Pierce is the lone returnee on a defensive line that was a rock, especially as the season wore on. The senior defensive end was the team’s second highest tackler and tied for the team lead with eight tackles for loss. He recorded three quarterback sacks.
Linton rotated on the interior line last season and Arledge should pull double duty as well. Sophomores Connor Carrier (5-10, 220) and Dawson Pickens (6-1, 270) will have opportunities to earn playing time while Hodson will play as both an end and tackle.
Kost and Cayden Alford (6-5, 200, sophomore) add depth at defensive end.
Carrell missed most of last season due to a knee injury after starting the first two games for the Chiefs. Walsh replaced Carrell and made 40 stops. Mustard will also see time there after recording 10 tackles last fall.
Poling will play outside linebacker. He has the physicality to make stops in the run-game but also has the athleticism to cover opposing receivers. Poling recorded 30 tackles as a sophomore.
McClelland leads the secondary as the “adjustor.” He led Logan with 63 tackles and tied for the team lead with three interceptions in 2019. McClelland is a ballhawk defender.
Heft saw plenty of action last fall, so his absence will be missed on both sides of the ball. Frasure and Angle should start at the two corner positions with Hill and Thompson adding depth. McCarty returns at free safety with Sturgell looking to make it a rotation.
LHS is optimistic it’s kicking game can be a strength. Zach Chapin (6-0, 190, sophomore) was perfect on seven PAT attempts last fall and was 1-3 on field goal tries. Frasure averaged 32 yards per punt last season but sophomore Robby Leffler (6-1, 165) will compete for punting duties.
A revamped schedule will give Logan challenges and opportunities. Games with Jackson and Warren were preserved while the addition of Mid-State League foes Amanda-Clearcreek, Bloom-Carroll, and Logan Elm give Logan three first-time opponents. The final scheduled game before the OHSAA playoffs is a trip to Watkins Memorial, a team Logan has only faced once, a 30-28 loss in 1995.
Spencer Waugh is the founder of LoganFootball.com and historian for Logan Chieftain football.