NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- Jake Logan entered the wrestling room at New Rochelle High School on Thursday having just watched the opening rounds of the NCAA wrestling championships on ESPN.
The excitement of the biggest wrestling event in the country was palpable through the screen, sparking the New York state champion’s imagination. It wasn’t difficult to picture himself on that same stage one day in the near future.
“I can see myself there in a few years,” he said with a rare smile. “I’m excited for that. High school is great and there’s a lot of stuff that I haven’t accomplished in high school, but college is the next level. That’s the real game.”
Logan has yet to commit to any college, but after the junior season he just had, many have come calling.
It’s hard to blame them.
The 182-pounder put together one of the finest seasons the state has ever seen, highlighted by an Eastern States championship in January and his first state title in February. He finished with a perfect 41-0 record and shockingly went the entire season without being taken down by any opponent.
That made him the obvious choice as the 2017-18 Journal News/lohud Westchester/Putnam wrestler of the year.
“His positioning, for a high school kid, is amazing,” New Rochelle coach Eddie Ortiz said. “He’s very rarely out of position. He’s incredibly tough to score on. The kid hasn’t been on his back in years, at least not in high school competition. He’s only been pinned once, and that was his very first match as an eighth-grader.”
Horace Greeley senior Jacob Ferreira can attest to that.
Ferreira was clearly the second-best wrestler in the state at 182 pounds, which led to four meetings between the rivals this season — including the first-ever all-Section 1 state final. He kept most of the matches close, but Logan continuously proved to be an immovable object.
“He is a great wrestler and gifted athlete who I enjoyed wrestling and battling with,” said Ferreira, who will wrestle at Bucknell University next season. “One of the things that makes him so hard to wrestle against is his positioning and that he never gives up any easy points. Our rivalry was great for Section 1 wrestling.”
Logan admittedly isn’t the type to “show that much emotion in my matches.” One of his strengths is his ability to tune out the crowd and focus on the task at hand, but even he confessed to feeling the buzz before and during his matches with Ferreira.
Three of the four bouts were decided by two points or less, including a 5-3 decision in the state final. But when they met in the Section 1 final, Logan produced his signature moment — a first-period pin that left the entire gym at Clarkstown South stunned.
“I put my arms up for a second after that,” Logan admitted. “It was really cool. I don’t think there was any doubt after that one.”