INSIDE THE HUDDLE: Veterans of the gridiron
KNOW & GO
What: Bear River (5-0) at Center (5-0)
When: 7:15 p.m., today
Where: Center High School, 3111 Center Court Ln, Antelope
Follow along: On Twitter @Shepard_Sports or on the radio at 94.1 FM (Star)
They are the tandem that stirs the drink for the football Bear River Bruins.
Scott Savoie and Terry Logue have orchestrated incredible success over the last five seasons at the helm in South County. This year’s version surely carries-the-serve and continues the tradition. However, there are some that wonder, “How can it be?”
This is a young squad. Few expected the 5-0 start. The offensive line has come of age. The “Grizzly” has contributed more than its fair share of excitement. The home games are near sellouts. It did not always look like it would be this way at this point of the campaign.
Logue is a straight-forward, no-nonsense guy. He does not protect his opinions. He uses animated jargon. He is a genius on what it takes to win.
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He offered, “Early on, we struggled to get them all out there at one time. I am surprised to be at 5-0.”
Savoie is the observant chemist. He knows how to pull a team together and make it work. He figures out what a team must do on both sides of the ball to excel.
He noted, “The first game vs. Truckee was super important. To get the first win was huge to us.”
Ah, but the Truckee match-up was just an appetizer. As the season ground on, it was a series of victories that led the team to certain optimism. The surprises had become commonplace wins. The momentum began to build. Stars emerged. The Grizzly formation, in which two quarterbacks are in the shotgun formation, proved tantalizingly successful.
Savoie talked about how it all came together. He spotlighted sophomore Jaime Vargas.
“Jaime Vargas was a great addition. I initially told the junior varsity to take a look at him, but we quickly changed our minds.”
Logue added, “This is one of the best mannered teams we’ve ever had. Sometimes the superstars can be the Prima Donnas, but our superstars are not that way at all. The kids have made a commitment. There is no easy way to do it than to work hard, practice hard and study hard.”
Then there is the Grizzly formation. New, yes! Provocative, almost always.
Savoie commented, “It is not like a new offense. It has the meat-and-potatoes of our normal offense.”
Yet, even with a plethora of wins, the duo is cautious.
Logue quipped, “I am very happy with the first half. Two more wins should wrap it up. We are always worried about injuries.”
Savoie added, “I want our kids to be a typical Bear River team. They are going to fight and battle. We are still trying to figure it all out.”
Do not let their comments fool you. They are adept at “figuring it out.” They know what buttons to push and levers to pull. They are a crusty, battle-tested tandem … veterans of the gridiron.
This Friday they play at Center. Both know this will be a tough test. The Bruins have had their number over the short-term past. Center is aiming for them in a quest to turn the tide.
They admit it will be tough.
Logue said, “If we can hold them to 21 points, we should be fine. We are proud of how we play defense at Bear River. We have to keep the game close and give ourselves a chance to win in the fourth quarter.”
It is a red star on the schedule along with the penultimate game of the season vs. archrival Colfax.
It is an odd equation for Savoie and Logue. They are co-coaches. It is a rare combination.
Logue jumped forward, “We were able to put our egos aside. We don’t worry about the small stuff.”
Logue is an interesting scenario unto himself. He suffers from Parkinson’s Disease. It is a debilitating illness. Yet, he seems to never let it get in his way. He has earned the respect of all of his players. It mainly goes unnoticed by the squad.
It came upon him 9 years ago. He went to see a neurologist and it was diagnosed within 5 minutes.
Logue has a passion for life. Nothing will stand in his way. Spending a few moments with him proves why he is a warrior in all aspects of his being.
He commented, “When I am out there, I do not think of Parkinson’s Disease. I need a golf cart to get around. I would feel empty without football. Walking is hard. My balance is difficult. I take it one year at a time. As long as I am supporting the kids and functioning, it is all good for me.”
Such is the battle-within-the-battle for Logue. He earns certain respect. He beats the odds every day. It is no wonder. He is one tough dude with a stubborn streak for all that challenges him.
The second half is now upon us. Now it is the Pioneer Valley League challenges that present themselves. What mysteries lie ahead? How will they execute as they prepare for the eventuality of playoffs? Many questions are forthcoming. Enjoy the ride as the answers emerge.
Jim Adams is a regular contributor to The Union. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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