A BT Football Senior Spotlight: Logan Craighead

IMG_0664A special Trinity Press contribution written by Vira Halim ’15, a  UGA student studying journalism.

On a Friday night under the lights at Titan Stadium, it is difficult not to notice the hard-hitting and explosive Number Seventeen.  Senior LB/TE Logan Craighead has been playing in the Blessed Trinity football program since the eighth grade, and in his final year, he has emerged as one of the team’s leaders both on and off the field.

Since he began playing the sport in the sixth grade, Logan has developed a passion for football that has driven him to become the person and player he is today. His coaches and teammates have recognized the powerful impact he has on the team. “Logan has an extra level of self discipline and commitment to the football program. His leadership is infectious,” said Head Varsity Football Coach Tim McFarlin. “It started in the offseason and in the weight room and has continued on into the regular season. He prepares so thoroughly every week and it is just infectious with the other players.”

Being a part of the Blessed Trinity football program has provided Logan the opportunity to form a brotherhood with his teammates. “I lose sleep some nights knowing that I won’t get to see [my teammates] every day next fall and it truly hurts,” Logan reflects. “That’s why I’m taking every day I have with them and making the best out of it.

The bonds formed in high school football are some of the most special and rare of relationships. Younger players often find mentors in older players; guys whose work ethics and leadership they aspire to emulate. For Logan, that guy was Class of 2015 LB/TE Pat Jasinski, who is now playing college football at the University of Central Florida.

20827577128_587f611b00_k“Despite being a man of few words, his actions spoke the loudest of anyone I’ve met,” said Logan. “His influence on the program will last a long time. I took it upon myself to try to carry on his legacy of working hard every day. So even if I can never reach the bar he set, I will hopefully inspire the younger guys to keep trying themselves.”

For three years, Craighead practiced, trained, and played alongside Jasinski. “I think he is a heck of a player,” Pat said of Logan. “He is explosive and tough and very hard-working. He is very dedicated and I think he will have a great college career. He’s a good guy, smart and easy to get along with.”

Throughout the offseason and even during the year, the duo would train together outside of organized team practices. “He has definitely impacted me,” said Pat. “He has grown a lot from strength and speed to just an understanding of the game and football IQ. I just hope he realizes how the close relationships with the coaches, staff, and teammates are such an amazing thing. Being a part of BT football means a lot to everyone who has been a part of it.”

Logan’s journey as an athlete has been far from an easy one. Logan has been swinging a bat since he was four years old, but in the summer before his freshman year at Blessed Trinity, he began experiencing what his doctors originally believed to be a chronic muscle strain in his lower back.

Although he struggled with a persistent injury, Logan fought to play through the pain until it reached a peak in a particularly excruciating at bat during the summer of 2014. “The pain had always been in my lower left back, but it never got too sharp,” Logan explained. “This time I was finding it difficult just to get out of bed.”

It was then that Logan and his family decided to seek a second opinion. After getting an MRI and consulting with new doctors, he discovered the sources of his heightened and constant pain were stress fractures in his L3 and L5 vertebrae. “I was already having second thoughts about trying to continue playing baseball,” Logan said. “I was limited in my motions and determined that swinging my bat was the main thing causing my back flare ups.”

Even after winning a state championship with the 2014 BT baseball team, Logan ultimately decided his junior year to forego the season. “I sat down and started to think hard,” Logan recalled. “I loved baseball, but it was causing me pain and I was enjoying football more. I finally made the decision this past January that it was time to hang up my baseball spikes and focus on football.”

Choosing to leave baseball after more than twelve years of playing weighed heavily on Logan, but he realized his true passion in football and found support in his teammates and coaching staff, especially Coach McFarlin. “Coach ‘Mac’ as we call him, has always been an understanding person because he’s been around the game of football a long time,” Logan said. “He always has stories from his many years around the game. He understands and emphasizes that our Faith is more important than any game or person we might meet. Coach Mac has helped me see that life after football lasts a lot longer than football and the key to success is using the values taught through the game. So when I’m older, adversity might not be a 4th and goal from the 1-yard line and I need to get the stop on defense, but I know that I will come out on top.”

Looking back, Logan’s favorite memory thus far is the Titans’ overtime victory at Jefferson High School in the quarterfinals of AAA playoffs. “We battled all night long and found a way to win in a crazy Jefferson home atmosphere.”

As far as the rest of the season, the Titans are not looking ahead too far. “As we move forward, we’ll continue to do what we’ve done all along and that’s take it week-by-week,” said Logan. “Long-term goals are always important, but they don’t matter if we can’t handle the team that’s right in front of us. We expect to leave it all out on the field every game moving forward and the outcomes will take care of themselves if we do our jobs.”

With the Titans in the midst of another winning season, Craighead and his fellow seniors are focused on blazing a trail for future players in the BT football program. “Leaving a legacy is one of the most important things to me. One of our mottos this year has been ‘be remembered, or be forgotten’ and I think that sums up my outlook as a senior. I can’t leave this program until our senior class has had their names written down in the BT history books forever.”

Logan hopes to continue his football career playing linebacker in college next fall, but even beyond that, he plans on teaching the sport to a new generation. “I would love nothing more than to share my passion with kids on down the road as a coach,” said Logan.