Embracing the grind of the high school football season has become a rite of passage for Mountain View High School senior Aaron Logsdon.
Logsdon, who will likely start for Matt Johnson’s squad at running back and outside linebacker this fall, has shined during his time at the north side school.
Logsdon showed his unique skill set as a junior in 2018, rushing for 434 yards and 4 touchdowns, while registering 55 tackles, 6 tackles for loss and a sack on defense.
His unique mix of relentless energy and dazzling talent allows Logsdon to excel, despite measuring up at 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighing 180 pounds.
Johnson, who is in his first year at Mountain View after coaching Ironwood Ridge’s football program for a decade, said Logsdon is a unique athlete. To Johnson, players like Logsdon are what make high school football unique, thanks to the senior’s incredible work ethic.
“Aaron brings it in every workout, every practice, everything,” Johnson said. “I’ve never seen him have a down moment with us. It could be a running session, it could be a football drill, it could be in the weight room. He’s always fully in, activated, and just cares at a super high level.”
Logsdon, who has 585 rushing yards, 6 touchdowns, 122 tackles, 13 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks in his two-year varsity career, said he’s thrilled to play for Johnson this fall.
The symbiotic relationship between player and coach stems from a mutual love for the sport and an understanding that Johnson’s system has accomplished great things in the past.
“I think it’s a blessing,” Logsdon said of Johnson’s move to Mountain View. “We have a whole new system now; our practices are different. We love him a lot. We’re really grateful to have him as a coach and now we’re excited to see how the season goes with him.”
Logsdon’s love for Johnson and his staff also stems from the new coach’s impetus on lifting weights and building strength.
The two-way player said he’s thrilled to see what the Lions can accomplish, with a greater impetus on strength and conditioning workouts during the offseason.
“A successful program requires a successful weight room,” Logsdon said. “Weight room is big and coach Johnson definitely pushes that on us. So, when we get on the field, we’re stronger than the kids on other teams.”
Logsdon is thrilled to once again play on both sides of the ball, saying the opportunity allows him to show what he can do against some of the state’s best competition.
“I’m ready to carry the ball as much as I need,” he said. “I’ll go both ways all day if they need me to. Just whatever my team needs to dominate and be successful.”
Johnson believes that Logsdon’s can-do attitude is rubbing off on his teammates, inspiring them to embrace the grind of off-season conditioning.
Such a teamwide embrace allows a team to forge ahead and build better camaraderie, according to Johnson, which can allow for greater success down the road.
“With high school athletes, if one person does it, the others are going to do it,” Johnson said. “If it’s bad, then that’s a bad thing, and if it’s good, it’s a good thing. So, I think [Logsdon] is a great leader and I’m excited to see how everybody decides to follow his leadership.”
That leadership hasn’t been lost on teammates, like fellow senior Isiah Sparkman, who knows how much a teamwide bond can mean come the regular season.
Sparkman said that last year’s season, which included an 0-5 start before five straight victories to close the year, instilled the virtue of putting in work during the offseason.
He’s confident that Logsdon and his fellow seniors can lead the team back to success this year, given their leadership in all aspects of the game.
“We just got it together at the end, worked more as a team,” Sparkman said. “Right now, we only lost a few seniors last year, so we’re just more of a team right now, a lot of chemistry.”
Logsdon and his teammates will kick off the 2019 season against a familiar foe, in Ironwood Ridge, with the game kicking off at 7 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 23.
Logsdon is trying to soak in the little moments he gets to share with his teammates while he can, knowing that he’s entering his final year of high school competition.
He’s confident that his statistics will only go up from where they’ve been in the past, becoming the every-down running back and bruising linebacker that Johnson has relied on in the past.
For now, Logsdon is focused on having fun, while mixing in a fair amount of effort so he can succeed against the Nighthawks in late August.
“I enjoy playing football, I love the thrill, I love playing with my brothers, these are my best friends out here,” Logsdon said. “So, everybody right here is pretty much my group of people, and so it’s just super fun playing with them.”
Logsdon knows that Mountain View, which missed the playoffs after going 5-5 in 2018, doesn’t draw the attention that other programs in the state do.
A big stepping stone for Logsdon and his teammates will be the Lions games against Phoenix powers, Higley and Casteel.
He’s confident that the Lions will turn heads this fall, however, with Johnson leading the charge. He’s also confident that everyone that takes the field for the Lions this season is proud to represent Tucson and Southern Arizona as a whole when they take the field, especially against better-known programs from the Phoenix area.
“I think we have a ton of athletes down here,” he said. “Tucson is a little slept on, but we definitely have a lot of athletes that nobody sees around or looks to see down here. We have a lot of talent on this team. We definitely can compete with the teams from Phoenix.”
Much of Logsdon’s confidence comes from the knowledge that Johnson has made the playoffs in each of the last 10 seasons, including a state title in 2012.
He also knows how much Johnson favors running the ball over airing it out, which will allow the senior to show what he’s capable of in the backfield this fall.
“I’m going to have a great year, this year,” Logsdon said. “[Coach Johnson] loves to run a lot and pound it down opponent’s throats, and that’s what I love to do. I love to just get the ball running, get my yards and just keep going over again and again.”