6:06pm: Sportsline with Tony Caridi

Logan community copes with a painful loss

LOGAN, W.Va. — Outside the locked doors of Logan High School a pile of teddy bears continues to grown. Amid the stuffed animals is a board and a pen for those who knew Teddy Nelson to write out their memories. It’s a fitting tribute to a gentle giant who was beloved in the community.

Nelson, 25, died over the weekend of complications stemming from the Covid 19 Novel Corona Virus. He’s among nine West Virginians who have been killed by the virus and he’s by far the youngest to die.

Teddy Nelson was a force for the Logan Wildcats his senior season

“He was a super kid. I’ve never seen him without a smile on is face,” said Kevin Gertz a coach and teacher at Logan High School who watched Nelson grow up just a few doors down the street.

Nelson battled his weight and health problems in high school, but football Coach Gary Mullins said the effort he made to get in shape for his senior year was a remarkable accomplishment which he will never forget.

“Because of blood pressure and things like that, the doctors never would release him, but he worked so hard his senior year to get down to the playing weight he needed to be and when he got out on the field, he was an animal,” Mullins said.

At 6-3, 325 pounds, he was the plug in the middle of the Logan High School defensive line during the 2012 football season. According to Mullins, opposing offenses couldn’t budge him and his contributions were a key to the team’s success.

“He lit up when he talked about it and even after he graduated, it meant so much to him to be part of that school. When that’s the case everybody is close with him and that makes it a lot harder than it would be in some instances because everybody feels like they lost a brother for sure,” Mullins said.

After graduation, Nelson went straight into the work force as a welder. He earned his welding certification during his high school years and was ready to be a contributor the day after graduation.

“He was one of those guys who worked immediately. I remember him talking to me in the weight room talking about wanting to get a job and asking if I knew anybody. We made a couple of calls and unlike some kids, he was very driven from the get-go,” Mullins recalled.

“He was the dead center of our fan section and everything we ever did. Everybody loved this kid and he loved life,” Gertz said.


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