Photo by Bill Roseberrty
Alton tennis coach Robert Logan speaks with a couple of his players during a dual with the Jersey Panthers at AHS during 2015. Logan passed away on Sunday at the age of 30 after dealing losing a battle with cancer.
Robert Logan is doing double duty coaching at Alton High this year. And Logan, 29, is thrilled about it. He’s a Man for All Seasons.
The 2005 Marquette Catholic High graduate was recently appointed the Redbirds boys’ tennis coach for this spring. He replaces Jesse Macias, who retired as the head coach. Logan also is serving as the AHS girls’ tennis coach this fall.
“I was definitely hoping I would get the opportunity to coach the boys’ team, too,” said Logan, notified last month. “I’m not taking it lightly in coaching both sports. It’s a big responsibility.”
He’s not the first AHS coach to guide the boys’ and girls’ programs of a particular sport. Jeff Woszczynski directs both bowling programs. Vernon Curvey does the same in cross country and Lynda Willings oversees the Redbirds’ pair of swimming and diving programs.
“A lot of other schools do the same thing in tennis,” said Logan, referring specifically to Southwestern Conference rivals Edwardsville and O’Fallon. “The tennis programs are interwoven, so it makes sense for us to do it this way.”
For the past eight seasons, Logan served as Macias’ assistant for boys’ tennis. Macias is returning the favor by helping Logan with girls’ tennis this fall. Macias was the boys’ head coach for 13 years and compiled a 152-92 record.
“It has been great working with Jesse because he has helped me tremendously,” Logan said. “I’ve learned a ton of things from Jesse and I wouldn’t be coaching at Alton High if it wasn’t for him.
“So I expect a smooth transition this year.”
The girls have begun their season and the boys will begin their workouts later this month, Logan said.
“The boys will get into more by mid-September,” he added. “We have some of our guys playing soccer or running cross country this fall. I’m encouraging them to play two (or more) sports because I don’t want them to just focus on one sport.”
Juniors Silas Chapman, Jeff Durr and Adam Kane figure to lead the AHS boys’ tennis team. Sophomore Walker Moan also is contending for a top spot. The Redbirds graduated key players Kain Henson, Jackson Scheiter, Carl Stradal and Drew Hays from last year’s squad that advanced to the state tournament.
“The guys we have coming back have a lot of experience and they have been working hard,” Logan said.
Meanwhile, it’s so good so far for the AHS girls’ team, Logan indicated.
The Redbirds defeated Metro East Lutheran of Edwardsville, 9-0; East Alton-Wood River, 9-0; and Jersey, 8-1 in their first three dual matches.
Seniors Shannon Willis, Mary McDaniel and Katie Cronin, sophomores Abby Fischer and Sami Clayton, plus freshman Hannah Macias, hope to keep the Redbirds flying high. AHS went 15-8 last season.
“It’s not a reloading or rebuilding year,” Logan said. “Our top players have put in a lot of work, so I would say it’s more of a retooling one.”
Alton is scheduled to resume competition Saturday, when the Birds will participate in the Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin Tournament. They’ll meet Marquette Sept. 15 at the Lewis and Clark Community College courts in Godfrey for their annual city championship match.
Coaching tennis is a family affair for the Logans. Brother Chris is the men’s coach at LCCC, while Robert’s uncle, Mike Walters, is the boys’ coach at Marquette High.
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