FURY:A Rio Games Romance(4)By: Alison Ryan
Although Logan still played softball and basketball, she really only made the concession to appease her parents. She knew quitting basketball would hurt her mother and giving up softball would devastate her father. The Olympic softball dream was something with which she was all too familiar, and her dad made sure she didn’t miss a pitch when the United States team was playing.
Her waning interest in sports other than soccer didn’t translate, however, to diminished success in those endeavors.
By the time high school rolled around, a ninth grade Logan was the finest all-around athlete at Montgomery High, regardless of gender or age. Her early growth spurt ended during middle school, and although 5’9” was still tall, it wasn’t freakish. She filled out into a mature athlete’s body, and although some guys were intimidated by her musculature, her ready smile, happy blue eyes, and blonde curls left her with no shortage of suitors. She went out with groups of friends, but there never seemed to be time for one boy or for any sort of relationship to develop.
Logan’s sophomore year was when all her father’s hard work paid dividends. After helping Montgomery High’s soccer team attain the best record in school history, and the basketball team to within four points of the state tournament, her buzz-saw pitching and powerful bat helped fill the hole in her school’s trophy case that Chuck Lowery had urged the athletic director to make room for way back when. A state championship on her resume brought recruiters out in droves, and the dream (if not Logan’s, then definitely Chuck’s) was blossoming nicely.
Until the morning that summer when the family gathered for breakfast, divvying up the Dayton Daily News over waffles and scrambled eggs.
“That’s bullshit!” exclaimed Chuck, dropping his coffee mug to the table like a gavel, surprising his daughter and wife, who threw him a disapproving glare.
“Sorry, honey. I just… you won’t believe what it says here. Baseball and softball are getting dropped by the Olympics! Starting in 2012, they won’t be in the Olympics anymore. I think I’m gonna be sick.”
With that, Chuck Lowery rose, head slung low in defeat, and stumbled off toward the stairs and back to his bedroom.
Logan and her mother looked at one another in shock.
“That can’t be right,” her mother said, walking over to the pick up the newspaper Chuck had thrown on the floor. “How can the Olympics get rid of softball? It’s one of the most popular sports played…”
But Chuck was right. According to the newspaper, the internet, and ESPN, his worst nightmare had come true.
No more softball. Which meant no more Olympic dreams for either Logan or her father.
Despite the Olympic dream having perished, Chuck Lowery, both the father and the coach, remained dedicated to his daughter and to her team. Montgomery High repeated as softball state champions during Logan’s junior year, and she was named state player of the year. She’d have her pick of colleges.
Logan’s plan for the future, however, didn’t include softball. She’d play her senior season, of course, but she had no plans to accept a softball scholarship.
The recruiting letters she cherished were from soccer coaches. The same letters her father eschewed in favor of those from basketball and softball coaches, Logan treasured. Ever the unselfish teammate, despite talent that meant she didn’t have to be, she kept her plans to herself in order to keep coaches showing up at her various events in the hopes that they’d notice some of her teammates and begin to recruit them.
Her scheme landed many of her teammates, in all three sports Logan played, squarely on the radar of coaches who would have loved to have Logan, but who found Montgomery High School’s sports program a fertile hunting ground.
On a family vacation to Myrtle Beach a month before her senior year of high school began, Logan gathered the courage to inform her father of her college plans.
They sat folding chairs on the beach, Tracy back in the room taking a nap, when Logan broke the news.
“Dad, there’s something we need to talk about. Promise you won’t be mad at me.” She couldn’t even look at him as she spoke.