Tadlock making impact for NCABy ROBBIE ROBERTSON,
When Logan Tadlock first came to Newton County Academy, he had never played football before.
But the majority of the boys in the school were playing football and convinced him to come out for the team and he’s never regretted it.
In that ninth grade year, Tadlock found himself on the field in some key situations as the General made a run to their Class A state championship.
This year, Tadlock joins teammate Braxton Rose as NCA’s representatives on The Newton County Appeal’s Elite 11 squad.
For head coach Rob Roberts, he wishes he had more players like Tadlock.
“This will be Logan’s fourth year,” Roberts said. “He got to play a lot as a ninth grader on the state championship team. He’s a tough kid and he hits hard. He gives you everything he’s got. Didn’t get to play that much as a tenth grader but started for me on defense last year and was one of out best tacklers. He plays outside linebacker and I may move him to the middle this year.”
Tadlock has mainly been a defensive player at NCA but was paired with Rose in junior high, earning the nickname of the “Dynamic Duo” from Roberts. But with quarterback Braden Smith gone and Roberts back calling plays on offense, Tadlock will see plenty of time in the backfield this season.
“He will also have to play some fullback this year,” Roberts said. “Him and Rose are both linebackers and both running backs. I look for him to have a good year running the football and at linebacker. He’s going to have to have a good year for us.
“We are going to run the ball a lot more this year so that makes what he does that much more important. We lost our starting quarterback from last year so we are going to have to run the ball more. He started for three years so we will have to run the ball more this year.”
While at NCA, Roberts has hung his hat on a rugged, hard-hitting defense and run-oriented offense, something that fits Tadlock to a tee. And a big part of that offense is the fullback position.
“The fullback is very important to our offense,” Roberts said. “I run the ball a lot. With him and Rose, they should be pretty tough together. When they played ninth grade together, everybody called them the dynamic duo. They would light you up. Both of them run hard and both of them run the ball good. They will give you all they got.
“We are depending on those two a lot. Both of them are about the same size, both like to hit and both run the football hard. Last year, I had two running backs and Braxton that graduated. This year, it’s going to be him and Braxton in the backfield. And I suspect we’ll go as far as those two take us.”
More than athletic ability, Tadlock has one thing that Roberts, and all coaches value.
“He has heart and will do anything that you tell him,” Roberts said. “He’s not going to argue or talk too much. He like to hit. He wants to hit somebody. He’s not looking to go around somebody or juke you. He wants to hit. He’s a really good athlete. He works out hard. He’s one of our leaders in the weight room. He’s going to do every rep and push himself in the weight room. He doesn’t do anything else but play football and lifts year around. He’s a solid kid.
With just five seniors, the soft-spoken Tadlock has had to take on a leadership role.
“It’s important for those other kids to see him in there working hard,” Roberts said. “We don’t have a lot of seniors so those guys have to step up and be the leaders. The few seniors I have had worked hard in the weight room. They try to work with the younger kids. And Logan has done that for us. We need those guys to be our leaders and they have both stepped up and accepted the challenge.”
For Tadlock, he realizes this is probably his last year of football and wants to make it a good one.
“I don’t think I’m going to take football anywhere after this so I want to go out and have fun and enjoy playing football this year,” Tadlock said. “Mainly, I’m focusing on linebacker position but I would like to get the ball at fullback or running back some this year. Just wherever they need me to do. It’s my last year, I just want to go have fun.”
In the weight room, Tadlock is strong for his size, benching 280 pounds and squatting 405.
After graduating from NCA, Tadlock said he is planning to go to East Central and might even try out for cheerleader and wants to become an engineer.