ST. GEORGE — Logan Wilstead comes from a family where athletics are prevalent, but the Desert Hills High School senior has his hopes set on medical school.
The Wilstead family is filled with athletes. Randy Wilstead played professional baseball, while his wife ran track in high school. Those athletic genes were passed down to their three sons. The oldest, Cole, played baseball at Brigham Young University. Their middle son, Kody, is the starting quarterback at Dixie State University. Logan, the youngest, is the starting quarterback for the Desert Hills Thunder.
The competitiveness that comes with being an athlete is prevalent in the Wilstead family and has pushed Logan to break his brothers’ records and stats. Despite that competitive spirit, Logan has received a lot of help from his brothers and dad.
“I grew up around sports,” Logan said. “My vacations were going to watch Kody or Cole play. I think knowing all about the game from a young age has helped me because I knew things in football growing up that kids shouldn’t have known, just because of my brothers. Watching them at the high school and college level pushed me to want to be better. Now having all of them around, I watch film after a game, and Kody sits with me and critiques my game.”
Randy spoke to how competition drives his family, both on the field and at home.
“There’s always trash-talking between my three boys,” Randy said. “Its nonstop, you should see us play board games — that gets really interesting. Especially playing monopoly and the negotiating table. It gets pretty competitive.”
In the classroom, Logan prides himself on getting good grades. With his sights set on medical school, he’ll need to keep those grades up.
“The whole stereotype of ‘dumb jock’ is gone and away,” Logan said. “Its always cool to be talking to people, and they say, ‘Oh, you’re a straight-A student. I never would have expected that.’ I give all the credit to my mom. If I have a B then I’m grounded, and it is the end of the world. She pushes me, and my dad cares about academics, but he’s all about working on the field.”
While both of Logan’s parents push him in the classroom, his dad pushes him athletically, talking to him about the physical and mental side of the game.
“He’s just always there. He made it known from a young age that he wasn’t going to miss my games,” Logan said of his dad. “It’s huge, as a player, to know that you have your dad supporting you in the stands. He’s just always been there, and that’s something that not a lot of kids can say. I really appreciate it. Same with my mom. They are very supportive and always at the games.”
Even off the field and outside of athletics, Logan’s life is a busy one.
“Logan plays the piano very well,” Randy said. “Last weekend, he and his mom went on a date down to ‘Wicked’ together with Logan’s sister-in-law. Next month, we’re traveling to New York to take him to see ‘Hamilton.’ He loves that kind of stuff. In my mind, that is who Logan is, who just happens to be a good football player as well. Just a very well-rounded young man who is kind to everyone and makes mom and dad proud.”
As a fan of theater, in addition to “Hamilton” during his senior trip, Logan looks forward to seeing “Dear Evan Hansen” on Broadway.
“If I was talented, I would have been a musical man and tried all that stuff,” Logan said. “I’m just not good enough, so I love to watch it. Appreciating what others can do is just so cool to me. Some say it’s weird, but I love musicals and stuff, just the environment and everything about it.”
With regard to football after college, Logan is not as dedicated to the sport as his older brother Kody. He’s looking for a school to pursue him, not the other way around.
“My whole mindset has always been, if someone wants me and finds me, then I’ll consider it,” he said. “I’ve never went out of my way. My brother (Kody) was going to all these camps, and he dedicated his life to football. I have never really been as dedicated as him because I have med school, I have other things that I want to do. … I’ve already got schools academically looking at me, so it doesn’t put all the pressure on me to have an athletic scholarship.”
With Desert Hills currently third in Region 9 and No. 11 in the Class 4a RPI rankings, things are looking good as the postseason creeps closer. Coming off a double overtime win against Cedar last week, a game in which Logan threw for seven touchdowns, the Thunder have a little spring in their step going into Friday’s game against Canyon View. Friday will also be senior night for Desert Hills.
Logan said his team has a real ability to fight.
“The thing that defines us this year is that we don’t quit,” he said. “It’s so fun to be on the sideline. If I go make a mistake, I come to the sideline, no one is ragging on me. Everyone’s heads are up, they’re like, ‘Hey, we’ll get em’ next time.’ It makes it easier on me, because I don’t need to push them to keep fighting because they’re going to do it anyway. When the defense is struggling, they go get scored on, I know my offense is going to go ball out.”
As for postseason hopes, Logan sees nobody stopping the Thunder’s offense. Desert Hills has an electric offense — one comprised of running threat Kina Taufa and receivers Jace Mortensen, Kire Goulding and Caleb Rogers. They are dangerous, but defense will be the key for the Thunder.
“It comes down to defense,” Logan said. “We’re super young on defense, and if they just keep maturing, we can be scary. If a team can stop us offensively, I think that’s where we go out, whatever round that is.”
Before the Thunder get to the postseason, they will have to finish out the rest of Region 9 play. They have gotten through the first half of region play rather unscathed, but their final game of the season will be against Pine View, which should be one to look out for. Every game is a bloodbath in Region 9, as Logan puts it, and he won’t be taking any team lightly after Hurricane pushed the Thunder in their third region game.
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