LOGAN, W.Va. — The Logan football program will enter the 2017 season in a new era as James Toth officially took over the head coaching reins back in March.
“We want to be in the playoffs every year and we want to provide a discipline structure for the kids to excel in football,” Toth said. “We feel like we’re close to being a playoff contender.”
Toth spent the last two seasons as Logan’s defensive coordinator, but also has a plethora of experience on coaching staffs at Man, Wahama and Point Pleasant.
“I was at Wahama for a long time and I was used to Coach (Ed) Cromley and the way things were done there,” Toth said. “That really helped me to understand the things that are necessary to do to be successful. We’ve been trying to do those things, and so far, so good. I’ve been real pleased with the turnout.”
Toth takes over at Logan for Gary Mullins who led the Wildcats to five playoff appearances in 13 seasons. An encouraging 3-0 start last year ended outside of the playoffs for Logan with a 5-5 record.
“Good teams are consistently good,” Toth said. “Last year we were good at times, but we weren’t consistent. We need to be dedicated in the weight room. We’re trying to improve in those areas – we have some new guys on the staff as assistants and we’re just trying to be consistent day-in and day-out with the process of winning football games.”
The Wildcats have six starters returning on defense and eight starters back in the mix on offense. The most notable name, statewide, of those returners is 6-foot-4, 240 pound sophomore quarterback David Early who threw for 1,525 yards, 18 touchdowns and seven interceptions as freshman.
“David (Early) is a special athlete and a once-in-a-generation athlete. We’re lucky to have him,” Toth said. “The thing he has to do to get better this year is to be more accurate with the football and take what the defense gives him. But he has all of the tools to be a great quarterback.”
Early is being highly recruited for basketball, but has garnered football recruiting interest as well.
“Virginia Tech called about him, wanting him to come down for a visit,” Toth said. “He’s a great kid and I couldn’t be more pleased with him. He’s really level headed and he never gets too high or too low. He doesn’t get too excited, but he doesn’t get down either – I like that in a quarterback.”
Junior linebacker Shawntez Matthews will be another one of the leaders for Logan in 2017, while Elijah Adkins, Trey Jude, Devin Hensley, Chucky Felder and are just a few of the other notables for the Wildcats.
“We’re going to be different offensively and try to be more balanced,” Toth said. “Obviously our offense will be built around our quarterback, but we want to run the football more effectively. Defensively, we will probably play a little bit more man-to-man in the secondary. We like our coaches, we like our players and we’re excited about the upcoming season.”
Toth’s official debut as Logan’s head coach will be against his alma mater, Man, on August 25. The Wildcats will follow that game with nine Cardinal Conference matchups – including a contest against defending state champion Mingo Central on September 8.
“We like being in the Cardinal Conference and think that it’s the best in the state out of Class AA,” Toth said. “We feel like a top three finish in the Cardinal will be guaranteed a playoff appearance – that’s what we’re shooting for this year and then we’ll see where things go from there.”
2017 Football Schedule
|1||08/25/17||7:30PM||A –||MAN HIGH SCHOOL||–|
|3||09/08/17||7:30PM||H –||MINGO CENTRAL||–|
|9||10/20/17||7:30PM||H –||CHAPMANVILLE REGIONAL ||–|
|11||11/03/17||7:30PM||A –||HERBERT HOOVER||–|
|wins: 0 lost: 0 ties: 0|