Note: Logan finished with an 11-1 overall record in 2013 and was first in Region 5 with a 6-0 record. It lost to Olympus in the 4A quarterfinals.
LOGAN — It may be too early for Logan head coach Mike Favero to characterize the 2014 Grizzlies football team.
But that won’t impact the expectations the veteran coach has for the squad that will include plenty of new faces in the starting lineup.
“The expectation for every team is always to win the region,” Favero said. “I’m sure every team feels that way. The beauty of high school is that there is turnover. You have different puzzle pieces every year, and each year’s team is trying to put that puzzle together.”
Other coaches and the media expect a lot out of this mostly new group of players. While the coaches saw them as the second-best team in Region 5, the Deseret News chose them as region champions.
Favero isn’t worried about preseason expectations — at all.
“Last year I think we were picked fourth in the preseason polls,” he said. “As coaches, you know preseason polls carry zero weight. They’re really just a compliment.”
The trick, he said, is making sure teenage players understand that rankings have no bearing on what happens on the field.
Favero has nine varsity starters returning this season, but he’ll be looking to fill key vacancies. One of the most noticeable spots will be at quarterback.
“If we played today, Kinkade Wildman would start for us,” Favero said. The senior played weak safety for the team last year, but he did play quarterback in the team’s last game of the season — a heartbreaking 23-21 quarterfinal loss to Olympus.
Wildman filled in after starting quarterback Chase Nelson was sidelined because of a penalty in the team’s first playoff game that penalized him an additional game. Wildman finished that game throwing 22 of 36 for 260 yards and three touchdowns. Unfortunately, he also threw four interceptions.
But Wildman promises to help Logan continue to run an exciting, and sometimes unpredictable offense, because of his athleticism.
He’ll have two veteran targets at wide receiver in senior Chad Artist and junior Harman Rector.
Unlike many smaller 4A schools, most of Logan’s players do not play on both offense and defense.
“Just a handful of them,” Favero said of two-way players. “My personal take on playing two ways is that is taking 22 potential starting positions and reducing them to 11. It’s fewer spots to keep your players passionate and hungry.”
He also feels it’s difficult to run complex schemes when you ask players to be both offensive and defensive players.
“It’s trick scheme-wise,” he said. “How do you train a guy to be a two-way guy and get them to comprehend everything you’re teaching?”
Favero is looking forward to seeing how his team comes together this season.
One of the most satisfying aspects to watch is how players “collectively” compete and how each athlete tries to reach his potential. Student-athletes become standouts as the season progresses.
“You just give kids an opportunity to be the best they can be,” he said. “Ultimately, the film doesn’t lie. The better players usually rise to the occasion. And typically, they’re the kids who’ve worked hard.” Favero said most teams feel they work hard, but he bases his plan on science and said it’s designed to make individuals better, as well as the entire team.
“Every team claims they’re the hardest-working team. We believe in putting together a comprehensive, scientific plan,” he said. “We’ll execute the plan and get everybody to be the best they can be.”
Logan Grizzlies at a glance
Coach: Mike Favero is in his 16th year as head coach of the Logan Grizzlies. The California native and Utah State graduate owns a 131-54 record, as well as four state championships.
(5 returning starters; Spread Offense)
Chad Artist and Harman Rector return as starting receivers, which should help first-year starter Kinkade Wildman take over quarterbacking duties. Artist caught 42 passes last season for nine touchdowns and 776 yards. Rector finished the year with 46 catches, 10 touchdowns and 618 yards.
The Grizzlies return two offensive linemen, including Max Parsons.
(4 returning starters)
The Grizzlies pride themselves on tough, relentless defense. Senior linebacker Bracken Williams joins cornerback Garrett Wright and defensive tackle Keegan Oldham as three of the four returning varsity starters. The Logan offense gets most of the attention, but year in and year out, the team's defense is reliable, regardless of the players asked to perform.
Coaches preseason Region 5 straw poll: Second
Deseret News Region 5 prediction: First
Bottom line: Logan has the kind of tradition that makes the program a perennial power. The players may not have a lot of varsity experience, but Favero’s system tends to help individual players find their strengths and excel. One of the most critical components of a winning program is confidence, and the Grizzlies have that in spades thanks to success year after year. This year may see some new players rise to stardom in a Logan uniform, but it’s a safe to say the Grizzlies will be favorites in the region race, as well as contenders in the 4A playoffs.
Felt’s Facts for Logan High School
All-time record: 496-351-24 (95 years)
Region championships: 26 (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)
Playoff appearances: 47
All-time playoff record: 50-40
State championships: 7 (1978, 1988, 1989, 2000, 2005, 2007, 2011)
State championship record: 7-8
Most played rivalry: 94 meetings with Box Elder dating back to 1919. Box Elder leads 61-31-3.
Felt’s Factoid(s): Logan holds the season total offense record of 6,587 yards (2005). ... Brothers Riley and D.J. Nelson rank one and two in season total offense: Riley accumulated 5,815 in 2005 and D.J. totaled 5,096 in 2011. D.J. also set the state record for single-game total offense with 606 yards in the 2011 4A semifinals against Bountiful. ... Logan is the only school to score more than 600 points in a season two times — 2005 and 2011. ... Logan is one of six teams in state history to have a 14-0 record (2011).
Logan coaching history
1999-current — Mike Favero (131-54)
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
2011 — D.J. Nelson, QB
2007 — Jordan Ballam, LB
Deseret News First Team all-staters the past 10 years
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
2007 — Jeff Manning, QB
2007 — Koddy Thigpen, LB
2007 — Duncan Olsen, DB
2006 — Kyle Dragnich, WR
2006 — Tanner Richins, OL
2006 — Josh Flores, SP
2005 — Kyle Dragnich, WR
2005 — Tanner Richins, OL
2005 — Junior Keiaho, DL
2005 — Pete Dien, DL
2005 — Cole Farmer, LB
2005 — Jeff Alley, DB
2005 — Josh Flores, SP
2004 — Riley Nelson, QB
To view second team and honorable mention all-staters through the years, check out the Deseret News All-State Archives.