Photo by Diane Cox
Ricco Gipson, left, and Logan Reardon
Logan Reardon’s senior season with the Roxana Shells will definitely be one to remember.
The senior fullback helped lead the Shells to the postseason for the first time since 2003, while setting the single-season rushing record and single-season points record to boot.
Reardon finished the season for the 8-3 Shells with 1,761 yards on 223 carries for 24 touchdowns, while also hauling in three catches for 45 yards and a TD. On top of that, Reardon also worked as Roxana’s kicker. He kicked a game-winning field goal vs. Pana in Week 2 to give the Shells a 37-35 victory, their first of the season. Reardon tallied a program-high 167 points.
Defensively, he was third on the team in total tackles (81) and second in solo tackles (60), while also accruing four sacks, a fumble recovery and an interception.
His stellar 2014 campaign helped earn him the AdVantage News Prep Football Co-Player of the Year.
Now that Reardon has had a short time to reflect on his senior year, he truly recognizes what it meant to help lift the Shells back to prep gridiron legitimacy.
“It means a lot to me and there’s not much to regret,” Reardon said of his senior season. “We had a great season, made the playoffs, went undefeated at home ... we played together as a team, so there’s not much to regret.”
For him personally, he was just glad to put it all together for his last season donning the Roxana red and yellow.
“It’s great to hold the records at the school,” Reardon said. “I always wanted to be a 1,000-yard rusher and I wasn’t fortunate enough for that to happen in past years. For it to finally happen my senior year is awesome.”
Reardon will play baseball for Roxana in the spring and would like to play either baseball or football in college if possible.
But as stellar of a season as Reardon had for the Shells, Ricco Gipson was equally as impressive for an Alton Redbird squad that enjoyed its first winning season since 2006.
The Redbirds were 5-4 but unfortunately didn’t accumulate enough points to get into the playoffs. But it wasn’t for lack of effort from Gipson and his teammates.
The 6-foot, 250-pound Gipson was outstanding from his middle linebacker position. He gathered a total of 105 tackles, including 81 solo tackles. In comparison, Asa Collins was second on the Birds with 46 total tackles and 36 solo tackles.
Gipson also had four sacks and a fumble recovery on the season.
His stellar performance earned him AdVantage News Prep Football Co-Player of the Year.
Not making the playoffs will always be a blemish on the season, but making Alton relevant in football again was still an important accomplishment.
“We’re proud of what we did and it was a great accomplishment to get the first winning season in eight years,” Gipson said.
But the humble Gipson wouldn’t take credit for his high number of tackles. He passed the buck to his coaching staff.
“It was positioning,” Gipson said. “Our coaches are very tough on us. (Defensive coordinator Eric Dickerson) is a good coach and he knows what he’s doing.”
Being a third-year starter for the Redbirds helped Gipson be prepared for his senior season, too.
“It helps because you have the bond that you can trust your coach after three years of building that trust between coach and player,” he said.
As for his best memory from 2014, it is a signature 17-14 win over Belleville East on the road in Week 6.
“It would probably be Belleville East,” Gipson said. “It was the best win we had this year and I thought that was the high point of the season.”
Gipson is now looking at options to play football at the collegiate level.