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Sedgwick’s versatile Logan Thompson ready for Shrine Bowl appearance

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Friday, July 26, 2013, at 7:08 a.m.
  • Updated Friday, July 26, 2013, at 7:11 a.m.

Shrine Bowl

When: 7:05 p.m. Saturday

Where: Yager Stadium, Topeka

Records: West team has won seven in a row

TV: Cox 22

Rosters, 5C

Shrine Bowl rosters

West squad

Gabe Bergmann, Concordia; Jacob Brooks, Norton; Cody Busby, Salina South; David Cardinal, Hays; Bradley Chard, Plainville; Bryce Chavis, Riley County; DeeIsaac Davis, Andover; Riley Dowler, Arkansas City; Denver Doyle, Garden Plain; Kolby Fennewald, Mulvane; Collin French, McPherson; Jarod Gagnebin, Hutchinson; Riley Galyon, Sterling; Dalton Gantz, Ness City; Justin Gemaehlich, Dodge City; Hunter Harrison, Great Bend; Kip Keeley, La Crosse; Drew Kite, Scott City; Stanten Krone, Beloit; Alex Lee, Wichita Northwest; Jet Moreland, Wichita Heights; Sean Newlan, Phillipsburg; Zeke Palmer, Bishop Carroll; Wes Phillips, Maize South; Markus Phox, Collegiate; Sean Rodriguez, Nickerson; Kellen Sims, Derby; Ethan Stallbaumer, Maize; Bryce Steiner, Central Plains; Logan Thompson, Sedgwick; Cody Walther, Rose Hill; James West, Junction City; Clay Wilcox, Chaparral; Nick Young, Madison.

Coaches: Ryan Cornelsen, Hays (head coach); Steve Martin, Wichita Northwest; Mike Lee, Andover; Dave Fennewald, Mulvane; Brad McCormick, Garden Plain; Matt Hendricks, Sterling.

East squad

Justice Baird, Neodesha; Derek Bayless, Caney Valley; Nick Becker, Eudora; Spencer Barnhardt, Pittsburg; Denzel Chilcoat, Hiawatha; Keaton Cofield, KC Piper; Cole Combes, Blue Valley; Jordan Ebert, Rock Creek; Will Geary, Topeka; Chris Gomez, St. James; Dylan Hall, Topeka Seaman; Kyle Hammond, Crest; Cody Howell, Chanute, Tye Hughes, Lawrence Free State; Dakota Jiskra, Lyndon; Jordan Johnson, Olathe Northwest; Dan Morin, St. Thomas Aquinas; Austin Moses, BV Northwest; Andy Otting, Topeka Hayden; Peter Pfannenstiel, Silver Lake; Joe Pomatto, Paola; Staton Rebeck, Mill Valley; Raymond Solis, Topeka; Ethan Spore, Oswego; Curtis Stallbaumer, Baileyville; Bret Sterbach, SM West; Trent Tanking, Holton; Dakota Turner, Wamego; Dayton Valentine, Baldwin; Marc Walbridge, McLouth; Braden Werner, Shawnee Heights; Remington Whitley, Olathe South; Conley Wilkins, BV West; Mitch Wille, Bishop Miege.

Coaches: Jason Swift, Shawnee Heights (head coach); Bob Lisher, Lawrence Free State; Jon Holmes, Bishop Miege; Chris Brindle, KC Piper; Criss Davis, Caney Valley; Chris Stewart, McLouth.

In the week leading up to practice with the West squad for the Shrine Bowl game on Saturday, Sedgwick’s Logan Thompson wasn’t sure what position he’d play.

Maybe he’d play linebacker, where he had 66 solo tackles, 26 assists and two interceptions in 2012, earning an All-Metro selection. Or maybe he’d play quarterback, where he threw for 1,030 yards and 12 touchdowns in the last half of the season when he replaced the injured starter.

Or there’s always running back. He started the first three games of 2012 at running back, and finished with 1,405 yards, 22 touchdowns in 12 games. He also had 466 receiving yards and seven touchdowns.

Then again, if there’s an opening at offensive line, he could help there. He started at guard for Sedgwick as a sophomore and junior.

“He’s one of those special high school athletes,” Sedgwick football coach Jeff Werner said. “He had a very good football season, was the leading scorer in basketball, is an all-state pitcher, playing in the all-star games for football and baseball, and he made it to state in the shot put.”

Thompson didn’t plan to be such a versatile athlete. It just happened.

Football is a family sport. His dad, Bryan, played college football, so did his grandpa, Bob, who coached football at Sedgwick. His uncle, Jonathan, played college football and is a Northwest assistant, and his brother, Nathan, plays football at Friends.

Logan Thompson started out as a running back, moved to fullback his seventh and eighth grade seasons, then was a running back as a freshman but didn’t play varsity. He moved to the offensive line as a sophomore because that’s where Werner needed him because of his size and strength.

“My favorite position is definitely quarterback,” said Thompson, who is 6-foot-3, 225 pounds. “I’ve always dreamed of playing it. I’ve never been small enough to play it, I guess.

“… Since we were such a small 3A school, I was the biggest kid on the team. While 6A schools have linemen all over 250 (pounds), I was probably the only lineman on my team that weighed over 200.”

But after watching Thompson on the basketball court, Werner decided to utilize him at skill positions.

“He’s one of our best basketball players, and we kind of play basketball on grass for football. So I knew I needed to get him with his hand on the ball,” Werner said.

Thompson succeeded at running back and wide receiver, but then starting quarterback Brylie Ware was injured after throwing for more than 1,000 yards. No question about it, Thompson replaced him.

The transition wasn’t easy, though, and Thompson struggled not to get mad at himself when he wasn’t perfect.

“I wasn’t the best at throwing the ball at first. I’m probably still not,” he said with a laugh. “… It was just a weird excitement. It was just so weird to have this happen. I thought it would never happen that I’d play quarterback, and when it did, I felt excited, but I felt the pressure.”

After the Shrine Bowl, Thompson will be headed to Manhattan, where he has been invited to walk on at Kansas State.

As thrilled as he is to represent Sedgwick in the Shrine Bowl, playing for K-State coach Bill Snyder trumps everything.

“My junior year, one of the recruiters talked to me a little bit, and then they saw me my senior year and they invited me to walk on,” Thompson said. “It was probably the happiest I’ve been.

“… I just wanted to be coached by Mr. Snyder. He’s just so awesome. It’s a dream come true.”

Reach Joanna Chadwick at 316-268-6270 or jchadwick@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @joannachadwick.

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