By October, Logan Howard has been through a calendar’s worth of high school baseball, travel baseball, weekend tournaments, college showcase events, long-toss sessions and workouts. The cold starts to hit, and the arm starts to get tired, but still, there’s fall ball to play.
There’s only one thing that gets the Forsyth Central senior pitcher through it.
“Dreams of playing college baseball,” Howard said. “Having to keep going and keep pushing.”
Howard is close to that dream. He has offers from Georgia College and State University and a few Division II programs. He has interest from some junior colleges.
But the 6-foot-3, 215-pound left-hander wants to wait. He wants a chance to show what an off-season’s worth of training has done for his command, endurance and velocity. He wants to show college coaches what he can do as part of the Bulldogs’ formidable pitching staff that hopes to lead Central to the state playoffs after just missing out last season.
“This year, I want to prove myself on the mound,” Howard said. “I definitely want to be a key starter, be able to go to me when it’s a big game and just have all good games.”
Howard was a solid contributor on the mound and at first base for Central last season when the Bulldogs went 13-13 overall and 11-9 in Region 7-AAAAA. It wasn’t until the final week of the regular season that Central was eliminated from playoff contention.
And so Howard threw himself into his craft this offseason. Two weeks after Central’s season was over, his travel season started with Team Elite Baseball out of Winder, Ga. They crisscrossed the Southeast playing at colleges and showcase tournaments until July. A month later, fall ball started.
Howard supplemented the games and practices with extra training: workouts at Goldin Athletic Training Association (GATA) in Johns Creek or a near-by Atlanta Fitness to strengthen his core and lower body; runs and bicycle rides to improve his endurance; long-toss three times a week with Central teammate Reed Clark, a Western Carolina signee, to toughen his arm.
Even more, Howard started to prepare his mind for one final season of high school baseball.
“When I have bad games, I have to be able to get over that and move on from having tough games and tough losses,” Howard said.
If he can, Howard, Clark and Parker Morrison could get Central back to the playoffs.
And help Howard fulfill his dreams in the process.
“Our strongest point is definitely our pitching,” Howard said. “We have three key starters. All of us throw in the mid-80s. And then we have an amazing defense. Our infield and outfield work really hard.
“But hitting is kind of where we fell last year. As long as we can put a few runs on the board, I think we’ll be fine.”