LOGAN — Nearly a half-dozen transfer students are now eligible to play under the Friday night lights for the Chiefs.
They are Kaleb McKinnis (uniform No. 3), a 6-0, 185-pound senior; his younger brother Kody McKinnis (No. 6), a 5-9, 150-pound junior; Josh Banik (No. 57), a 6-0, 225-pound senior; Aaron Banik (No. 72), a 6-3, 315-pound sophomore, and Tyler Blount (No. 84), a 5-9, 165-pound sophomore.
They transferred to Logan High School just prior to the season but were not immediately eligible due to OHSAA transfer rules which state that, once an athlete has declared eligibility as a freshman, and then transfers, he/she must sit out 50 percent of the scheduled games.
That rule was changed last spring. Previously, a transfer student had to sit out a complete season before becoming eligible as an athlete.
In Kaleb McKinnis, “we see some athletic potential for him to contribute as a linebacker or a running back,” said Logan coach Billy Burke. “Some of the other guys are in the midst of trying to prove themselves. The tough part is the fact that, not being eligible for (Friday night) play, you’re not really getting any repetitions as a starter or backup. You’re kind of a scout-teamer.
“So now that those guys are eligible, we’ll put them into smaller roles (and) specific positions where they know exactly what to do and they’ll start getting more repetitions, especially on special teams,” he added.
New players also means renewed internal competition.
“And competition among your own team is not a bad thing, either,” Burke stressed. “It’s a very good thing. It keeps everybody hungry.”
With several players missing multiple games due to injury, having some fresh bodies around for the final five weeks — including all four SEOAL contests — certainly can’t hurt the Chieftains.
To that end, Logan finally got senior wide receiver/defensive back Nick Maniskas back for last week’s game at Nelsonville-York… and the coaching staff wasted little time getting him involved in the game.
Maniskas (lower back injury), a co-captain who sat out the first four games, carried for four yards on Logan’s second offensive play from scrimmage and added a 5-yard run in the second period.
Sophomore Bryce McBride (concussion) also contributed after sitting out the Loudonville game, rushing for 50 yards and contributing 12 tackles (three solo) from his linebacker position.
Sophomore Cole Baron was unable to play against N-Y but he, along with junior Dean Jordan (suspension), are expected back Friday night. And junior Caleb Lewellen (torn labrum) is going to hold off on surgery in order to play out the season.
Notable: The Chiefs went nearly six full quarters without committing a penalty; they had zero miscues against Loudonville and weren’t whistled for an infraction until midway through the second period at N-Y. Unfortunately, that penalty (a 5-yard delay of game), kept the Chiefs from attempting a 36-yard field goal that could have extended their 7-6 lead. … Gabe Smith had two tackles for loss against N-Y and Charles Paulsen added one as well as a sack. Both did a good job keeping pressure on the N-Y passing game. … Oddly enough, while the Chiefs went 0-5 to open the 2010, 2011 and 2012 seasons, they won game six all three years — 34-13 last season at Portsmouth, 14-3 at Gallipolis in 2011 (Logan’s only win that season), and 13-0 over visiting Marietta in 2010 — to avoid 0-6 starts. ... A Gallipolis player injured during Monday night’s reserve game in Logan Chieftain Stadium was flown to a Columbus hospital, where he was diagnosed with a slight concussion and has since been released. Logan won the game, 36-0.
Around the SEOAL: As league play gets under way this week, four of the Southeastern Ohio Athletic League’s five teams sport identical 2-3 overall records, with defending champion and pre-season favorite Gallipolis (4-1) the lone exception. The Blue Devils’ lone loss was in their season opener against undefeated Athens. Gallia Academy overcame an early 13-0 deficit to beat Vinton County 48-19 last week. … Warren hosts Jackson in Friday’s other SEOAL opener, with Gallipolis traveling to Belfry, Ky., for a non-league game. Belfry’s team nickname? The Bats. … At the season’s halfway mark, two Chieftain foes are still undefeated and both are state-ranked. Zanesville (5-0), whom the Chiefs play in week eight, is rated No. 5 by The Associated Press in Division II and Loudonville (5-0) has cracked the top ten in Division V, advancing to ninth. Also, future (2015) foe Athens (5-0) is No. 5, and former SEOAL member Chillicothe (5-0) is No. 8, in Division III.
Angle update: Patrick Angle threw three touchdown passes and threw for 233 yards to lead Ohio Northern to a 38-24 Ohio Athletic Conference victory over Capital last Saturday. Angle, the Chiefs’ All-Ohio quarterback in 2008 and 2009, completed 17-of-24 passes for the Polar Bears and fellow LHS alum Cary MacLaughlin had two solo tackles for the ONU defense.