While the 2012 high school football season is starting to wind down for the Logan Wildcats the team is already looking ahead to the 2013 grid campaign.
The Wildcats’ schedule next season will feature four new opponents as Logan is slated to take on Nitro, Greenbrier East, University and Point Pleasant.
Logan is dropping Johnson Central (Ky.), Winfield, Hurricane and Huntington.
The Wildcats will play University on the road in Morgantown next fall and will host Nitro, Greenbrier East and Point.
Logan used to play Nitro back in its days in the Mountain State Athletic Conference.
“We’re just so happy to get a schedule,” Logan coach Gary Mullins said. “A couple of weeks ago Coach (Roger) Gertz and I were just scratching our heads and didn’t know what to do. We didn’t think we could get a schedule with more than six or seven games. We’re just happy to get to 10 games. We’ll have six games against Triple-A teams and we’ll have five home and five away. It was unbelievable that we were able to do this.”
As a Class AAA independent it’s difficult for Logan to complete its schedule each fall. Many of the nearby Kanawha Valley or Huntington area Triple-A schools are members of the MSAC and have very little wiggle room.
Next year’s schedule was even more of a challenge to put together.
“It’s pretty hard when the only schools that are calling you back are schools like University, Morgantown, John Marshall and Musselman — teams that are five, six and seven hours away from here,” Mullins said. “That’s why we ended up with University. They were the first one to call and there’s nobody else to play. It was either play them or go back into Kentucky again. So we decided that that would be a good opportunity for us to go up north and play a good, quality football team.”
University, a normal state powerhouse, is currently 7-1 and ranked No. 5 in the state in Class AAA.
The Greenbrier East Spartans and Nitro Wildcats are each 2-5 heading into Friday night’s action.
Point Pleasant, last year’s Class AA state runner-ups to Wayne, have made a smooth transition to 3A ball this fall as the Black Knights are 5-2 and tied for 12th in the state with Spring Valley in this week’s ratings.
Point and Logan are both former members of the 2A Cardinal Conference.
Logan senior quarterback Chris Marcum was known early in his career as more of a pocket type of passer.
But this year, he’s using his legs.
Marcum has thrown for 1,400 yards this season for the 5-2 Wildcats but is also piling up some rushing yards and is becoming a threat to run the ball.
In Logan’s 37-18 loss last week at home to Huntington in the annual LHS homecoming game, Marcum ran 12 times for 77 yards in addition to passing for 252 more and hitting Josh Rein on scoring strikes of 23 and 55 yards.
Coach Mullins said Marcum has had a stellar senior season and has bounced back nicely from last year’s knee injury which forced him to miss most of the grid campaign.
“He’s done a great job stepping up in the pocket,” Mullins said. “Our offensive line has gotten a lot better and they are staying on their blocks longer. Those guys are working together well. He understands now that if everyone runs with the wideouts that nobody is looking at him. He’s done a great job and he really kept us in the Huntington game.”
Mullins said Marcum was able to keep the game close with the Highlanders last week.
It was a 23-18 ballgame with nine minutes to go but Huntington was able to widen the final margin with a pair of late touchdowns. The last one came in the final minute.
“We played the No. 3 team in Triple-A and we feel like we played a B or C game and had a chance to win it,” Mullins said. “We’re going to take a lot of positives with that and hopefully it will springboard us in the last three games of the season.”
After taking on Mingo Central this Friday night in the home finale, Logan travels to Hurricane on Oct. 26 and closes out the regular season Nov. 2 at Scott.
All three foes are ranked.
Mingo Central is 4-3 and tied for 13th in the state in this week’s Class AA computer ratings.
Hurricane has a 5-2 record and is ranked No. 7 in the state.
Scott is sixth in Class AA this week as the Skyhawks are 7-1.
Logan beat Mingo Central 22-6 on the road last season in the first-ever meeting between the two schools.
The Wildcats upended Hurricane 27-23 last year in a memorable game at a muddy Logan Stadium.
Logan was thumped last season at home by Scott, 38-7. The loss closed out Logan’s regular season with an 8-2 mark but it was still good enough to qualify for a home playoff game for the first time since 1990.
The Wildcats won’t have to worry about mud in the Scott game as the Skyhawks have Field Turf. This is the second year Scott has used it.