MORGANTOWN — It’s been a roller coaster of a year for Logan Holgorsen, full of highs, lows and sharp turns.
On June 11, Holgorsen took the field at Mylan Pharmaceuticals Stadium with a gold helmet and “U” logo slapped on the side of it. It was the beginning of his career at University High, but far from the beginning of his high school career.
A senior, Holgorsen will take over as the starting quarterback for the Hawks after spending the previous three seasons at Morgantown with a brief stint at St. Frances Academy, in Baltimore.
Holgorsen helped the Mohigans to 10 wins as a sophomore, in 2016, throwing for more than 1,300 yards and 14 touchdowns. But two weeks before fall camp, he announced he was transferring to St. Frances. In mid-September, he came back to MHS and assumed the starting QB spot and played the last seven games of the season — a 4-7 finish and state playoff berth.
In the offseason, Holgorsen made the move across town to attend UHS, living with his father, WVU head football coach Dana Holgorsen, who lives in the UHS school zone. It’s another new beginning for Logan, gearing up for his final year of high school football with a Hawks’ squad that finished unbeaten in the regular season and won 11 games.
“Everybody here welcomed me with open arms when I was expecting something completely different,” he said. “Coach (John) Kelley has been great — there’s not one guy on this team that’s held a grudge or anything like that. They’ve been wonderful and I couldn’t be any happier.”
Kelley is certainly happy to have Holgorsen in the fold. Holgorsen faced UHS twice while at MHS and finished 1-1, but the biggest reason is UHS needs to replace three-year starter Clay Bailey. Bailey, The Dominion Post’s 2017 Offensive Player of the Year, amassed nearly 3,000 yards of total offense and 27 touchdowns last season.
Holgorsen brings a rare opportunity for the Hawks to replace a veteran QB with another who has played significant snaps in his career.
“I put a whole new paint job on the whole deal,” Kelley said. “We thought we were going to have to bring somebody along who was very inexperienced, but this allows us to run the offense the way we want to run it. If we didn’t, that would have been a shame with the receivers that we have, so this just allows us to plug in Logan, who’s picked it up immediately, and we’re ready to go.”
One of those talented receivers is senior Amir Richardson, who has picked up plenty of Division-I offers over the course of the last few months. Richardson has done the recruiting camps circuit, so he’s seen a lot of good quarterbacks.
He believes Holgorsen — a North Texas commit — is just as good as the rest.
“Having Logan on the team is definitely a big change up, especially adding a Division-I quarterback after losing a great quarterback in Clay Bailey,” Richardson said. “We’ve been working all offseason and he looks really good — one of the best quarterbacks I’ve ever seen, and I’ve been to many Rivals camps, Opening camps, stuff like that. Having him is a great addition, and I think he’s going to help us win some games.”
The UHS offensive line lacks experience with only one returning starter, senior Liam Scardina-Fowler. The running back position is also going through transition with the losses of Robert Sanders and Trevor Barnhart, but Logan Raber has played a lot despite nagging injuries.
Along with Richardson, wide receivers Evan Parow and Hunter Cottrell make that unit the strength of the offense, and Holgorsen is excited to work with them.
“Those guys make a lot of plays and they want to work,” Holgorsen said. “Every day, Amir, Evan or Hunter are always texting me, ‘Hey, you want to go throw? You want to go throw?’ They’re hungry, they want to win and they like to work.”
Holgorsen and the Hawks will begin their season
Aug. 24 on the road, at John Marshall. The Mohawk Bowl, against the Mohigans, is set for Oct. 26, at MHS.