Logan came to Tech listed as a tight end, but that’s a little deceiving.
“I’ve never played tight end,” he said. “I played receiver sophomore year, and then I played quarterback four games into my junior year and my senior year. I played one snap at tight end, and that was just because it was a wrinkle in the offense, and that was my sophomore year.”
Four games into his junior year, Brookville’s varsity team was 2-2, and to put it frankly, Thomas just wasn’t getting the ball enough. At that point, the coaching staff took the “get the ball in your best athlete’s hands every play” approach and moved him under center.
Three months, and just one loss later, we were playing Richlands in the state semifinals. We would lose that game, 24-14, only to avenge it with a 47-0 victory in the same round the following season.
“To be honest with you, he was the best athlete on the field,” said Jeff Woody, who’s been Brookville’s head coach since 2005. “And this is whenever we played. Not only for Brookville High School, but if we were playing Salem, if we were playing Turner Ashby, if we were playing anybody. Logan Thomas was the best athlete on the field.
“As a wide receiver, sure, his personal dimensions, his height, his athletic ability kind of made him the best wide receiver on the field.
But we had problems getting him the football. In order to make us the best possible team that we could be, we had to throw him in at quarterback and implement an offense where he could run and throw, making us more versatile and more productive.”
That first Richlands game was one of the first times Logan’s leadership abilities were on display. At that point, I was a sophomore, and the starting quarterback on the JV team. But, at the end of the year I was allowed to dress out with the varsity players and spent five weeks practicing with them at the end of the season.
Logan and I hadn’t played football together since I was in sixth grade. I’d be lying to you if I said getting to practice with him again wasn’t something special. But watching him lead that team was even better. He didn’t give big, eloquent speeches before games — that just wasn’t his style.
However, he was extremely passionate, and it showed. His pregame pep-talks — short, sweet and to the point — were inspiring to say the least — he just knew how to get the best out of everyone.
“It’s not that I say anything that’s going to get anybody fired up. I think it’s a mutual respect,” Thomas said. “In high school, I got along with everybody, just like in college. You’ve got to make friends with everybody. To be honest, there’s not really one group of people I don’t get along with in the locker room.
“I think the key is being able to get along with everybody and earning their trust, and they’ll be able to get along with you, you’ll be able to get along with them, and you can talk to them, you don’t have to raise your voice. You can just say ‘Hey, let’s get this thing done.’ And they’ll ride with you, you’ll ride with them, and everything’s pretty smooth after that.”
His head coach at the time pointed out another factor that helped Thomas earn the respect of his teammates.
“Every great football team needs a badass and a joker,” Woody, who was also a standout wide receiver for Brookville in the mid-90s, said “And his junior and senior year, he was definitely the badass. He didn’t have to say much to be that type of person. You can look at Logan from afar, you can see his demeanor, you can recognize his athletic prowess, you can see how physical he plays, and you would know that kid’s a great athlete.
“Not only did other teams recognize that, but I feel like his own teammates recognized that. Logan didn’t make a lot of ‘Ra-ra’ pregame speeches, but everybody on that field, including the coaches knew that when a play needed to be made, offensively, defensively, special teams, we relied on Logan to make that play.”
Coach couldn’t have said it any better. My senior season, Logan’s redshirt year at Tech, whenever something went wrong offensively, our coaching staff’s favorite thing to say was: “Quit standing around waiting for Logan to make a play!”
His junior year, Logan led a team that had gone 5-6 the previous two seasons to a 9-4 record in his first year as the starting quarterback.