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High school football: Logan Grizzlies 2018 preview

_Note_: Logan finished with a 2-8 overall record in 2017 and was sixth in Region 12 with a 0-5 record. It did not qualify for the 4A playoffs.

Logan 2017 Offensive and Defensive Stats

LOGAN — The challenge before new Logan football coach Travis Van Leeuwen is pretty straightforward, right a sinking ship. That’s much easier said than done, especially with how quickly the program spiraled the past couple years.

During Mike Favero’s 17 years as head coach, from 1999 to 2015, the Grizzlies won eight region championships and five state championships.

When he stepped down after winning the title in 2015, Jayson Anderson took over as head coach and it was anything but a seamless transition. With a new offense and a different philosophy, Logan went 3-17 over the past two season.

Returning Logan to prominence falls on the shoulders of Van Leeuwen, who starred at Timpview High School and then Utah State University. Most recently he was an assistant coach last season at Sky View and was instrumental in the Bobcats run to the semifinals.

Nobody expects Logan to be a semifinal team this season, but the shift to a spread offense has created a buzz and the players have bought in.

“It’s been a lot of work, we’ve been working really hard, but it’s been a blast. The kids have really bought in, there’s a lot of excitement. The results are starting to show,” said Van Leeuwen. “We still have a ways to go to where we want to get, but I love the direction that we’re headed in. The whole culture is updated. There’s a lot of excitement. They’re working hard.”

The return of quarterback Jonny Parkinson to the program is responsible for a lot of that excitement. He started for Logan his sophomore season and passed for 1,660 yards and nine touchdowns, but he played junior varsity football in California this year.

Parkinson has returned to Logan for his senior season and he has a great understanding of what’s expected of him in the new offense.

Van Leeuwen’s blueprint for how wants to run the program is a merging of philosophies from numerous great coaches. At Timpview from 2006 to 2008, he played for guys like Louis Wong, Chad Van Orden and Cary Whittingham. At Utah State coach Gary Andersen was his head coach

Even last year at Sky View he got a glimpse into how first-year coach Danilo Robinson led his team to an undefeated regular season and region title.

“I’ve got a blueprint that I’ve kind of put together mixed in with a lot of programs I’ve had some success with,” said Van Leeuwen.

Logan Grizzlies at a glance

Coach: Travis Van Leeuwen is entering his first season as head coach at Logan High School. He was an assistant coach at Sky View last season. He’s a graduate of Timpview High School.

Logan Offensive Snapshot

Offensive coordinator: Travis Van Leeuwen

2017 offensive production: 15.6 ppg (20th in 4A)

  • 5 returning starters
  • Spread offense

Key offensive returning starters

  • Kade Thornley (RB): Played quarterback last year and passed for 983 yards and rushed for 236 yards. This year he’s making the switch to running back.
  • Kyle Truex (OL): Is one of the anchors of the offensive line as he heads into his senior season.

Returning offensive starters

Offensive newcomers to watch

  • Jonny Parkinson (QB)
  • Tim Van Leeuwen (WR)
  • Charlie Jensen (WR)
  • JJ Sargent (WR)

Coach Van Leeuwen comments on QB Jonny Parkinson:

“His attitude has been great. He’s been an incredible leader for this football team. He’s led by example on the field, and he’s also led vocally, and that’s not only on the field but off the field and in the weight room. In all phases of his life, he’s been a great influence and a great leader on this team. He feels really comfortable with the offense we put in this spring. He’s progressed very rapidly, so we should have a very good offensive group this year with him at quarterback.”

Coach Van Leeuwen comments on experienced O-line:

“To win football games you have to win in the trenches, and that’s offensively and defensively. If you can’t control the line of scrimmage it’s going to be very hard for you to do what you want and a execute. It’s going to be very key for our offensive line to come out and have a huge year, get some great movement off the ball and then be assignment sound in the run game and the pass game. Otherwise, it’s going to be hard to execute offensively.”

Coach Van Leeuwen comments on the versatility of Kevin Nye:

“He played all over the place last year. In the past he’s played running back, he’s played receiver, he’s played quarterback and he’s also played on the defensive side of the ball. Very versatile kid. He has a great skill set he can bring to the offense as a pass catcher as well as a blocker. Even once he gets the ball in his hand he’s dangerous.”

Keys for Offensive Success in 2018:

Logan only averaged 15.6 ppg last season, so all areas need a dramatic overhaul. Jonny Parkinson’s return at quarterback after a one-year hiatus should have a big impact on the efficiency of the offense. The biggest thing for Logan’s offense is finding ways to stay on the field. The offense routinely put the defense in bad spots last season, and the result was a scoring defense that allowed 35.8 ppg, the second-worst in 4A.

Logan Defensive Snapshot

Defensive coordinator: Kevin Rice

2017 offensive production: 35.8 ppg (24th in 4A)

  • 4 returning starters
  • 4-2 defensive

Key defensive returning starters

  • Andrew Wallace (DL): Was third on the team in tackles a year ago with 41 tackles.
  • Simione Pauni (LB): Finished third on the team in tackles a year ago, and will try and anchor down the linebacker core.

Returning defensive starters

  • Andrew Wallace (DL)
  • Chris Shopbell (LB)
  • Simione Pauni (LB)
  • Kevin Nye (S)

Defensive newcomers to watch

Coach Van Leeuwen comments on the intensity of defensive line returning starters Andrew Wallace and Jaden Ramos:

“Football is a physical game obviously, so if you can bring that aggression and that chip on your shoulder to go along with that physicality it’s huge. Having guys like that on the defensive side of the ball is huge. That attitude kind of trickles around to the rest of the defense so they can play that way with their hats on fire and fly around and making plays.”

Coach Van Leeuwen comments on young secondary:

“That’s definitely a spot on the defense you have to keep in mind and being able to put those guys in good positions to protect them and help them out in a way. With that being said though, I really feel confident that they’ll step up to the challenge because we have a very talented front, so those guys will be able to pin their ears back and get pressure, which should make it easier on those guys in the back end to get aggressive."

Keys for Defensive Success in 2018:

One of the biggest things Van Leeuwen talks about with his defense is playing assignment sound, but also playing aggressively. Finding that right mix will be on the players, who should be extremely motivated after last year’s disappointing season overall. Logan’s secondary will be young, and that group needs to develop quickly in pass-heavy Region 12.

Coaches preseason Region 12 straw poll: Sixth

Deseret News Region 12 prediction: Sixth

Key Region Game: at Ridgeline, Sept. 21 (Week 6)

Bottom line: The last two years were extremely frustrating for those around the Logan program, but were they an aberration? Were they flukes associated with the previous coaching staff and the change in offense, or is it just the new norm in Cache Valley with the addition of two new high schools in the past three years? The 2018 season could reveal the answers to those questions as Travis Van Leeuwen takes over as head coach. He’s been a winner as a player and coach throughout his entire life, and he’s brought that winning mentality to the program almost immediately. How quickly he can change two years of bad habits will determine whether 2018 is a bounce-back season or more of the same.

2018 Schedule

  • Aug. 17 — at Bonneville, 7 p.m.
  • Aug. 4 — at Park City, 7 p.m.
  • Aug. 31 — OGDEN, 7 p.m.
  • Sept. 7 — WOODS CROSS, 7 p.m.
  • Sept. 14 — GREEN CANYON, 7 p.m.
  • Sept. 21 — at Ridgeline, 7 p.m.
  • Sept. 28 — at Sky View 7 p.m.
  • Oct. 5 — MOUNTAIN CREST, 7 p.m.
  • Oct. 12 — BEAR RIVER, 7 p.m.
  • Oct. 17 — at Payson, 7 p.m.

Felt’s Facts

All-time record: 517-374-24 (102 years)

Region championships: 27 (1920, 1921, 1922, 1923, 1931, 1932, 1947, 1956, 1958, 1961, 1966 co, 1967 co, 1978, 1979 co, 1985 co, 1986 co, 1988, 1989, 1993, 2000, 2001 co, 2005, 2007, 2010 co, 2011, 2013, 2015)

Playoff appearances: 49

Current playoff appearance streak: 0

All-time playoff record: 53-41

State championships: 8 (1978, 1988, 1989, 2000, 2005, 2007, 2011, 2015)

State championship record: 8-8

Most played rivalry: 98 meetings with Box Elder dating back to 1919. Box Elder leads 62-33-3.

Felt’s Factoid(s): Logan holds four of the top 10 spots in all-time season passing yards…. Riley Nelson set season records for total offense (5,842 yards), TD passes (53, tied for first) and TDs-responsible-for (84), all in 2005. Nelson also has the records for championship-game total offense (496 yards in 2005) and TDs-responsible-for (7 in 2005)…. In 2012, Luke Falk set the state mark for season passing attempts (562) and completions (330)…. Richie Geertsen still leads the state in season receiving yards (1,769 in 1989) and championship-game receiving TDs (4 in 1989)….. Taylor Compton owns the record for season receptions (107 in 2012)…. Lee Allred caught 11 passes to set a championship-game record, in 1978…. Kicker Courtney Cano hit 81 extra points in 2005 to establish yet another state record for Logan.

...

Last 5

  • 2017 — 2-8 (0-5 in Region 12 - Missed playoffs)
  • 2016 — 1-9 (1-6 in 3AA North – Missed playoffs)
  • 2015 — 11-2 (6-0 in 3AA North – 3AA Champions)
  • 2014 — 7-4 (4-2 in Region 5 – 4A First round)
  • 2013 — 11-1 (6-0 in Region 5 – 4A Quarterfinals)

.....

Logan coaching history

  • 2018 — Travis Van Leeuwen (0-0)
  • 2016-2017 — Jayson Anderson (3-17)
  • 1999-2015 — Mike Favero (149-60)
  • 1979-1998 — Perry Christensen (114-92)
  • 1977-1978 — Mel Galli (16-5)
  • 1974-1976 — Steve Malnar (3-24)
  • 1964-1973 — Hal Lewis (42-51)
  • 1963 — John Whatcott (4-1-2)
  • 1947-1962 — Cliff Poole (81-52)
  • 1927-1946 — R. Burns Crookston (76-51)
  • 1924-1926 — unknown (7-11)
  • 1922-1923 — Wilf Romney (9-3)
  • 1920-1921 — Dixon Kapple (8-5)
  • 1919 — unknown (1-3)

.....

Deseret News Mr. Football recipients

  • 2005 — Riley Nelson, QB

Deseret News MVPs the past 10 years

  • 2015 — Hunter Horsley, QB
  • 2011 — D.J. Nelson, QB

Deseret News First Team all-staters the past 10 years

  • 2016 — Jace Perry, CB
  • 2015 — Spencer Corbett, WR
  • 2015 — Hartman Rector, WR
  • 2015 — Cade Parrish, OL
  • 2015 — Troy Murray, DL
  • 2015 — Ben Miller, LB
  • 2015 — Colton Hatch, DB
  • 2015 — Eric Laub, DB
  • 2015 — Josh Young, K
  • 2014 — Chad Artist, WR
  • 2013 — Chase Nelson, QB
  • 2013 — Taylor Compton, WR
  • 2013 — Angel Reyes, K
  • 2012 — Luke Falk, QB
  • 2012 — Hunter Ballam, DB
  • 2011 —John Schmidt, RB/WR
  • 2011 — Dalton Cole, OL
  • 2011 — Caden Andersen, DL
  • 2011 — Chasen Andersen, LB
  • 2011 — Jake Thompson, K
  • 2008 — Jeff Manning, QB
  • 2008 — Stephen Gwynn, WR
  • 2008 — Jared Theurer, OL
  • 2008 — Ian Haderlie, DL

To view second team and honorable mention all-staters through the years, check out the Deseret News All-State Archives.