LISBON, OHIO (WKBN) - The Lisbon Blue Devils football program has undergone some big changes in the past year. New coach Alan Mikovich replaced legendary Devils' mentor Jim Tslimos, bringing with him a new offensive system. Not to mention they had to replace their leading rusher from last year in Cam Summers and their top receiver in Seth Stokes.
But one thing that has stayed a steady component of the Devils team has been their senior quarterback Logan Bell. The 6’1, 184 pounder entered this season as a two-year starting signal-caller.
“It was crazy,” Bell said of starting as a junior last year. “As a freshman, I came in as a scrawny little 5’10 quarterback that didn’t really have an arm. And then my sophomore year I kind of grew up a little more and gained a little more weight. Then last year I was throwing the ball a little bit better but we were in a run offense so it was kind of hard to throw the ball in that offense.”
“Having Stokes helped a lot,” Bell continued. “It was more of throw a ball and have him go catch it. Then this year it’s more of being precise with everything. “
Bell explained that although coach Mikovich brought in a new system, he didn’t feel overwhelmed, “It didn’t really take much of a toll on me honestly. During my freshman and sophomore years when we played JV games, we pretty much ran this offense. We ran whoever's offense we practiced that week,” Logan referenced the scouting team duties.
“Of course with a new coach coming in, he’s had to learn a different style and a different way of doing things, but he has adapted very well,” coach Mikovich said. “Logan came from being under center all the time and running the triple option offense to being in the gun every play and receiving snaps, reading zone read. So I think he has adapted very well.”
Logan also explained how he has improved his game now that he is in his second year as a starter, “I read a little bit better. Last year I was to hand off the ball and carry out my fakes. Do whatever I needed to do. But this year I have kind of taken things into my own hands. Like if he (Mikovich) says do whatever you want with the ball, go ahead. Then I’ll do it, and I’ll roll out a little bit more this year.”
“He’s struggled in the throwing game this year because we’re throwing a lot more than he has in the past,” Mikovich admitted. “So he is still working on that daily. We had a session with that today, so he is continuing to get better. But in our zone read game, he has picked it up very well and he has had a lot of success being able to run the ball and at times, carry us when we needed it.”
On the season, Logan has completed 33 of 84 passes for 430 yards and tossed two touchdowns. He has run the ball 76 times, gaining 440 yards with 7 scores. Add in 11 point after conversions, 22 punts for an outstanding 35.8 average, including 9 kicks inside the 20, and it becomes obviously how vital Logan has been to the Devil's team.
In week three against Mineral Ridge, the Devils lost a key element to their team when senior standout running back Justin Sweeney went down for the year with an injury. That loss has forced Logan and his teammates to step up to try to fill the gap.
“You don’t replace a Justin Sweeney so everyone is doing their part trying to do that,” Mikovich said. “Those guys have understood that their roles have to pick up in his absence.”
Logan is the son of Allison and Charles Bell. Charles is an assistant coach for both the Devils football and baseball teams. Logan is also the younger sibling of Alexa Bell, who graduated from Lisbon in 2017 and was an standout player in the Devils girls basketball program. She is currently attending and playing basketball at Malone College.
Malone is also the future destination for Logan, “To play baseball. It’s really fun to play and it’s what I love to do. I’m kind of a utility player, but I’m primarily a pitcher.”
Logan also knows what he wants to study in college and the career he is leaning toward, “Major in accounting and minor in finance. I got it figured out for now,” Logan said with a big smile.
“Logan is good. He’s a coach's son so he understands how things are, but he’s also kind of loosey-goosey,” Mikovich said with a grin. “He likes to joke around sometimes, but again, when we get in between the lines and the fur starts to fly, like several times this year he has said ‘coach I can do this. Give me the ball’. He’s called some of the zone reads and he’ll get it done. And he’s been able to come through for us.”
Logan, along with some of the other seniors have made it a point to stay together this year as they expect to play both basketball and baseball in this their last year at Lisbon. With players like Logan, the Devils athletic programs will have a successful season no matter what the final score might be.
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