PORT NECHES —
By David Coleman
The News Sports Writer
PORT NECHES – A year ago, Logan Warlick was trying to be a “little” leader and finding out that seniors don’t always like to be led by juniors.
Now, the senior outside linebacker has become a mainstay on the Port Neches-Groves defense, leading by example every single day.
“I’ve got a lot of experience on (being a leader) last year,” Warlick said. “It’s helped a lot, getting guys going, fighting outside of a play and getting them back into the huddle. I went from little guy on the team to a leader. It’s a lot different. I was a ‘little’ leader last year, but no one really listened to me. This year, it’s a lot different.”
It’s a far cry from where Warlick was in his freshman season in the program. But, as he’s progressed over the years, Indians head coach Brandon Faircloth has been very impressed with his growth and the level he’s playing at right now.
“He’s one of our captains,” Faircloth said. “He’s the leader of our defense. He’s a spirited player and is always hard-working. He’s so steady. With him, you know what you’re going to get every day. If I walk out to practice, I don’t have to wonder how Logan is going to practice that day. He’s going to be there all the time.”
Good players are often good because they expect nothing less from themselves. Heading into this season, Warlick expected to be both an impact player on defense and a leader on that side of the ball.
“I expected to be here,” Warlick said. “Before a play will start, I’ll be able to read plays and can expect what will happen. I feel a lot faster and stronger this year. I was handling guys a lot easier (against Silsbee) than I did last year. I just love playing the position. It’s perfect for me.”
So far, so good, as Warlick helped the defense to a strong showing against Silsbee last week in the season opener. The senior had 11 tackles, including a team-high seven for a loss, and one quarterback pressure.
That’s impressive on many levels, but at the very least it shows how versatile his position in the PN-G scheme can be. At outside linebacker, he’s expected to take on the run, jump out on the pass and also to be part of blitzes.
“We ask our linebackers to do a lot,” Faircloth said. “They have to fit into the run game and take on a tackle They also have to drop back into pass coverage and pick up the backs and occasionally a receiver. It’s a tough spot. It’s kind of a hybrid role, and it’s hard to find someone to fill that job. That’s why we’re so pleased with how Logan has done out there.”
Warlick’s understanding of the defense and ability to read offenses has only increased with his playing time last season. His consistency in practice and in games has been a big positive for the PN-G defense, but has been a problem at times for the offense.
“He’s just tough out there,” Faircloth said. “When we’re running plays in practice, we run the opposite way from him. Sometimes, I’ll just send him off to the sideline so we can work on something quickly. He’s so tough for receivers to block and is just a very intelligent player. He knows exactly where he nees to be and what the offense is going to do.”
That familiarity helps him against opposing defenses, but it also gets old sometimes for the senior.
“I can’t stand that,” Warlick said. “When we finally got to scrimmage Texas City, I was happy. We finally got to play someone else. In the spring, I only got five plays total, so they could get some work. Practicing every day, you get used to the game plan, which is huge. But, you see a lot of that in other teams, so it helps a lot.”
Warlick said he’s had a couple of different motivations pushing him through the offseason work. One of those includes the all-important Mid-County Madness week.
“The Dayton game gets me going (in workouts),” Warlick said. “The Nederland game too, I want to get some revenge on them. I can’t go with a loss in my senior year on that one.”
INDIAN INKLINGS: The son of Christina Warlick, Logan would like to play in college and is interested in both Sam Houston and Stephen F. Austin. … The hero of Friday’s final play, when Silsbee went for the two-point conversion and it was broken up, was cornerback Kaleb Clark. According to Faircloth, Silsbee had run the route earlier in the game successfully, but on the final play, Clark was able to read it and make a play on the ball. … Port Neches-Groves won its season opener for the second straight season and the third time in the four years Faircloth has been head coach. In his first season in 2009, the Indians also won that first game by a score of 21-20, taking down Barbers Hill at The Reservation. The Silsbee final score also marked the fourth time PN-G has played a game decided by one point under Faircloth. The Indians have now gone 2-2 in those games, losing to Gregory-Portland to open the 2010 season and Crosby in Week 1 last year.
Favorite TV Show: Friday Night Lights
Favorite Movie: Friday Night Lights
Favorite NFL Team: Houston Texans
Favorite College: Sam Houston State
Best high school memory: Football playoffs
PORT NECHES —
By David Coleman
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