Three-Point Stance: Logan Reestablishes Toughness

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Editor’s Note: Three-Point Stance is Gridiron Glory’s written preview series leading up to its 15th season on WOUB. Gridiron is visiting training camps for all 32 teams in the coverage area as they prepare for the 2013 football season. The series concludes in the SEOAL, a five-school league lacking not in competitiveness.

A new football season is almost upon us and the Logan Chieftains are a program desperate to return to their winning ways.

Since their 2009 SEOAL title, the Chieftains have gone 6-24, scoring eight or fewer points in 10 of those matchups. Last year’s squad (2-8, 2-3) was outscored by 28.5 points per game in their losses.

Biily Burke, the program’s 30th head coach, is new to the Logan community, but understood the importance of reestablishing an SEOAL powerhouse.

“We, as a program, are taking it upon ourselves to restore some respect, some pride to a traditionally tough, rich program like Logan football,” Burke said.

Here are three things to know about the 2013 Logan Chieftans:

1. Welcome Aboard, Coach

A Lancaster native, Burke played linebacker for the Akron Zips. Before coming to Logan, Burke spent five years at the helm of the Medina Buckeye High School program, compiling a 26-25 record and a state playoff appearance in 2009.

Burke returns to coaching after a one-year absence from the sidelines.

A year away from the game did not deter Burke’s fire and passion for the game; it shows it the practices he runs. Burke stresses up-tempo play on both sides of the ball in order to get the maximum amount of work completed within any given practice.

2. Offense On the Go

For the offense, Burke’s no-huddle system is designed to keep opposing defenses on their heels. The vast majority of snaps are taken in shotgun formation.

Wide receivers Nick Maniskas and Evan Delong and running back Isaac Schmeltzer highlight the skill position players for the offense, but Burke stressed the importance of developing an athletic, senior-heavy line.

“In a zone concept offense like ours, it’s extremely important to have people who are able to move and take on defenders in space,” Burke said.

3. Defensive Fundamentals

On the defensive side of the ball, Burke takes over a squad that allowed 33.3 points per game and held opponents under 20 points twice.

A former linebacker himself, Burke knew that it is the fundamentals that will revive the defense.

“It doesn’t matter what scheme you run on defense…it’s a matter of if you get to the ball, are you able to get the ball (carrier) down and limit yards after contact,” Burke said.

Maniskas and fellow senior Nick Kost, the team’s leading tackler last year, look to lead the defense under Burke’s new fast-paced system.

The Chieftains start the regular season with a trip up Route 33 to rumble with the Lancaster Golden Gales Friday, Aug. 30.

Follow @gridironglory on Twitter and Instagram and Like the Gridiron Glory Facebook page for continued coverage throughout the preseason. Gridiron Glory returns Friday, Aug. 23 at 11:30 p.m. on WOUB.