BRIGHAM CITY — Sprinklers were watering grass to the north of the Box Elder High football team’s practice field Wednesday.
To the west sit brand-new purple tennis courts — so new, in fact, that no one’s changed the sprinkler patterns and they create puddles of water on the courts.
It was with this background that senior receiver Logan Holgate pulled off a spectacular feat of athleticism, bringing down a one-handed catch in midair with a defender holding on to him.
This is the kind of thing one would expect from college-level and pro-level receivers, not a lanky 6-foot-4 baseball pitcher who’s never played receiver or tight end before this season.
“I’ve always had hands, I’ve told coach (Robbie) Gunter, ‘Coach, I can catch it if you need me out there,’ but it’s been real fun,” Holgate said.
The obvious reasons why Holgate stands out on the team are that he leads the Bees (2-4, 0-2 Region 5) in receptions, yards and receiving touchdowns, as well as tackles and tackles-for-loss on defense, and he’s a team captain.
But he might be better known on the team for how he keeps practice fun with the things he says, some of which one would think are straight out of a Spaghetti Western film.
“If I’m dressed up or something, he’ll come up and pretty deadpan, he’s just like, ‘Man, coach, you’re sharper than a hound’s tooth,’” Gunter said. “Just like that, that’s how he is, he doesn’t think about it before.”
The off-the-wall sayings, called “Loganisms,” are a staple of any BEHS practice. It got to the point where a couple assistant coaches started keeping track of some of the Loganisms.
If not for such prowess on the football and baseball fields, perhaps Holgate would’ve found an interesting path in standup comedy.
“He just comes up with these crazy little sayings ... one of the themes that they wanted as seniors this year is ‘Sauce ‘em up.’ Well, it really doesn’t mean anything, but it does to these guys because he says stuff at the right time and it has a whole meaning because of how he says it,” Gunter said.
The hound’s tooth line is one of Holgate’s favorites. Another such Loganism: “He’s moving faster than a lizard drinking.”
How Holgate’s mind works and where he comes up with off-the-wall things to say, no one’s really sure. Holgate himself isn’t sure, but he has an idea.
“My mom’s really funny, she’s kind of like that. She’s witty, so I think it comes from that,” Holgate said.
The Loganisms started on the way to the team’s senior retreat this summer as typical car-ride banter on the way to Porcupine Reservoir in Cache County. It took off from there.
Gunter says Holgate has an “infectious” personality that is a benefit to the whole team.
“You can get bogged down with all the things that are going on, all the crazy stuff going on around, it’s always, I think, a team that has that (type of person), it always helps them,” Gunter said.
Holgate hasn’t played both sides of the football before, so that was something he had to get ready for before the season, something that really made him sore the day after the season-opener at Kearns.
This is Holgate’s second year starting at linebacker, where he’s picked up team-highs of 59 tackles, 41 solo tackles and 10 tackles for loss. Holgate leads the team in every receiving category with 16 catches for 412 yards (25.8 yards per reception) and seven touchdowns.
“I’ve been a little more surprised on the offensive side of the ball, just picking it up, scoring touchdowns and stuff. This is my first time really scoring touchdowns out there, so that’s been exciting. It’s been really fun,” said Holgate, adding that he hadn’t scored a touchdown since little league football.
Holgate has several colleges talking to him about playing baseball and his older brother, Jake, was a standout baseball player at Box Elder.
Weber State football invited Holgate to visit the Wildcats’ game against Cal Poly earlier this month and football is not totally foreign to him or his family.
His cousins Nick and Cameron Greene both played at Dixie State, as did his grandfather Gary Rohmer, who eventually ended up on the Los Angeles Rams’ practice squad.
Maybe those one-handed catches Holgate makes in practice shouldn’t be a surprise.
WEEK 7 SCHEDULE
GAME OF THE WEEK: Syracuse at Davis
There is no rest for the weary in this year’s unpredictable installment of Region 1, hence this week’s Davis (4-2, 4-0 Region 1) and Syracuse (4-2, 3-1) earning the designation of “10th Vitally Important Region 1 Game Out Of 16 Played So Far.”
In all seriousness, the Titans are eager to get back at the Darts, who blocked a field goal in the teams’ meeting last year to deny Syracuse a playoff spot.
All Syracuse has to do to beat Davis is get past a defense that leads the region in sacks, interceptions and a whole other host of categories.
All the Darts need to do is contain the best dual-threat quarterback in the region, Bridger Hamblin, along with two college football-caliber wideouts, Ty Burke and Sam Adams. Simple, right?
ROY AT NORTHRIDGE
The obvious storyline here is Roy (3-3, 2-2 Region 1) head coach Fred Fernandes’ success while coaching at Northridge (1-5, 0-4) in the early 2000’s.
Neither defense has forced tons of turnovers (Roy has seven, Northridge has four) and that’s likely what’s needed for whichever team ends up breaking out of its respective funk.
CLEARFIELD AT LAYTON
Since 1970, Clearfield (1-5, 1-3 Region 1) and Layton (1-5, 0-4) are each other’s most-common opponent, having played 48 times. The series is tied 24-24 in the last 48 meetings.
WOODS CROSS AT BONNEVILLE
Bonneville (3-3, 1-1 Region 5) and Woods Cross (5-1, 1-1) are both eager to rebound from double-digit losses last week.
The Lakers have the upper edge in this series, historically with 10 wins in the teams’ 16 meetings, but the Wildcats have won four of the last five in the series.
UINTAH AT OGDEN
Both Ogden and Uintah are 1-5 overall and 0-3 in region play. The difference between them is the Tigers have been competitive for one-and-a-half region games (they trailed just 14-7 at halftime against Park City), and the Utes have had just two quarters where they’ve hung with a region foe.
STANSBURY AT BEN LOMOND
Ben Lomond (0-6, 0-3 Region 10) has been shut out its last four games and the Scots are will be especially awaiting this game as they face their former head coach, Eric Alder, who’s now at Stansbury.
BOUNTIFUL AT BOX ELDER
The previous six meetings between Bountiful (2-4, 1-1 Region 5) and Box Elder (2-4, 0-2) have been decided by an average of 8.5 points, including last year’s 21-20 matchup that the Bees won with a game-winning extra point.
VIEWMONT AT FARMINGTON
Viewmont (2-4, 1-1 Region 5) and Farmington (5-1, 2-0) players alike had this game circled on the calendar before the season started.
The Vikes won last year’s tussle 41-12 but, the way things are trending in 2019, this year’s school-split rivalry could play out very differently.
BEAR RIVER AT GREEN CANYON
Bear River’s (3-3, 2-0 Region 11) task is to stop a rushing attack that averages 214.5 yards per game on 5.9 yards per carry.
The Bears have allowed 146.2 rush yards per game the past five contests at a rate of 4.3 yards per carry.
Note: Layton Christian Academy (2-3, 1-1 2A North) has a bye week. Morgan (6-0, 2-0 Region 13) gets credit for a win because Judge Memorial forfeited this week’s game.You can reach prep sports reporter Patrick Carr via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @patrickcarr_ and on Facebook at facebook.com/patrickcarr17/.