Ithaca High School has been known in recent years for its remarkable football program and rightfully so.
The Yellowjackets have put together 56 straight wins and four consecutive Division 6 state championships. Senior Logan Hessbrook has been a part of three of those teams.
But the LSJ Boys Athlete of the Year excelled in other sports for the Yellowjackets as well this school year.
He was honorable mention all-area in basketball over the winter and an all-state baseball player for a second-straight season before graduating. Hessbrook made the Lansing State Journal’s Dream Team in the fall for football as a defensive back and will play wide receiver collegiately at Saginaw Valley State.
“His whole thing was if we’re going to play, we’re going to play to win,” Ithaca football coach and athletic director Terry Hessbrook said of his nephew. “He’s a great competitor and that’s what makes him so successful in everything that he does.”
Logan committed in late January to play football but continued with the winter and spring sports seasons.
“I had relationships with my coaches in those other sports as well,” Logan Hessbrook said. “For me to quit the sport just because I decided to play college football and to not do it in my last season, it would have been foolish.”
Hessbrook had 62 receptions and 1,262 yards and 19 touchdowns as a receiver in his senior season. On defense he had 63 tackles and five interceptions.
In the final game of his junior season in 2012, Hessbrook led Ithaca to another state championship from a different position — quarterback. He accumulated 244 yards of total offense and four touchdowns.
‘”He was one of those kids who, when the game was on the line, he wanted the ball,” Terry Hessbrook said. “Gosh, when (starter) Travis (Smith) went down that could have been the end of everything and he stepped in at the quarterback position. It certainly looked different than when Travis was playing, but he didn’t back down from it. I had great trust in him.”
With Ithaca making one deep playoff run after another, Hessbrook didn’t get much time to transition to the basketball court, but he was a standout while having to play different positions over the course of his career.
He averaged 13.6 points to lead the team in scoring and also grabbed a team-high 7.1 rebounds per game.
“He grew so much in basketball, he went from a shooting guard to 6-foot-3, 6-foot-4 and now you’re playing with your back to the basket. It was quite an adjustment for him,” Terry Hessbrook said.
Logan enjoyed another outstanding season on the baseball field in the spring. He was an all-state outfielder for two different coaches and finished his athletic career with some of the same players that helped Ithaca build its football legacy.
“At a very young age I really loved baseball,” he said. “Going to Loons games and Lugnuts games, Tigers games, I love the game of baseball and it attracted me. All of us kids played on a Little League team and built relationships all the way through.”
But one of the biggest qualities of Logan Hessbrook can’t be measured in touchdowns, yards, points or hits, Terry Hessbrook said.
“He’s an outstanding leader,” he said. “One of the best qualities he has is he’s an outstanding person. He really understands all of what’s going on and how the younger kids at Ithaca look up to him.”
Logan’s leadership may help encourage future Ithaca football stars and more victories, but he will be looking up to others when he gets to Saginaw in August.
“It’ll be a little different. I don’t think it’s as drastic as being a freshman in high school,” Logan said. “We’ve grown a little bit now, but being a freshman in college and those seniors that we’re going to be seeing, they’re huge and big and fast and athletic.
“We’re going to be at the bottom of the totem pole but it’s going to be another journey just like high school was.”