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The Best of 2011-2012: Boys athlete of the year Jackson wrapped up season for Indians

BY ADAM HIMMELSBACH

When Stafford’s Logan Jackson wrapped an opponent in his arms, it was usually bad news for the opponent.

Sometimes it happened on the football field, where the linebacker was the Indians’ leading tackler for the second year in a row, earning Free Lance–Star All-Area honors.

And sometimes it happened on the wrestling mat, where Jackson won a Group AAA state title in the 195-pound weight class last winter.

“He just has great control of his body,” Stafford football coach Chad Lewis said. “He’s able to turn his shoulders and just square up as well as anyone.”

Jackson’s unmatched combination of tackling and grappling made him The Free Lance–Star’s choice for boys athlete of the year.

There were plenty of worthy candidates this season, from Major League draft picks to future Division I college football players.

But Jackson stood out because he was a state champion.

In February, he held on for a 1–0 win over Aaron Rowe in the 195-pound final at the Group AAA wrestling championships, giving Stafford its first wrestling state champion in school history.

“He turned it up at the right time and the right moment,” Indians coach Brandon Gilbert said. “And he did it in maybe the toughest weight class.”

Jackson plans to wrestle for Maryland next season. He said he also had opportunities to play college football below the Division I level.

Although wrestling and football are quite different, Jackson found a way to mesh skills from one sport to help him in the other.

In football, Lewis said, Jackson used the strong hands he developed as a wrestler to keep ball-carriers within his grasp.

And as a young varsity football player, Jackson became accustomed to squaring off against older, stronger athletes, a skill that later served him well in wrestling.

“He just had one heck of a senior year,” Lewis said.

Adam Himmelsbach: 540/374-5442

ahimmelsbach@freelancestar.com

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