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Logue battles back to climb podium

Father Judge senior Sean Logue took fourth at 120 pounds at the state wrestling tournament. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Sean Logue never had a doubt he’d be back.

But it took a lot of faith for him to keep that confidence.

Logue is a senior at Father Judge High School, and during his first two years at the school, he was one of the top wrestlers in the Catholic League. During his second year, he was one of the top wrestlers in the state, taking seventh place at states in the 106-pound weight class.

He was primed to do great things his final two years.

Then he suffered a back injury that spoiled his junior year. Instead of wrestling, he was recovering. It wasn’t a huge loss in terms of piling up wins because the Crusaders didn’t wrestle much. He estimates he would have had only 20 bouts, but it still kept him from getting better and doing what he loves to do.

“It was like an identity crisis, it was so weird going home after school,” said Logue, who lives in Roxborough. “It was almost like a fever dream. It was a crazy time and so hard. I lost a lot of motivation because I wasn’t sure if I was ever going to wrestle again. I started hanging out with friends more, so that was good, but life is better when you have a goal, and wrestling was always my goal. I didn’t have it.”

Logue’s back started to feel better. He returned to the mat and was all excited to make his return to the Crusaders. Then, it was back to the sidelines.

“I had what I thought was just a really painful pimple, it hurt, but I didn’t think it was anything,” Logue said. “It was on my birthday, I really wanted to go out, but my mom looked up MRSA and said that’s what it looked like. I really didn’t want to go to the hospital, but my mom, she’s a nutritionist, wanted me to go. Thank God I did.”

Logue’s season was once again in jeopardy. He was stuck in the hospital for a week getting antibiotics, and he was back on the shelf unable to wrestle.

“It was tough because they said you’ll miss a month, and then I’d go back and they’d say you’re going to be out three weeks, and it kept getting pushed back,” Logue said. “I just wanted to wrestle. It was hard. I wasn’t able to practice, I couldn’t even run because my knees were so swollen. I couldn’t do anything.”

Then he got cleared, and all of the time he spent sitting idle was over. He was back wrestling, and after a few practices, he was right back to being one of the top wrestlers in the state.

He proved that this weekend when he finished fourth at 120 pounds at the state wrestling tournament in Hershey. He went 5-2 against the top 120-pound wrestlers in the state, and climbed three spots on the podium from when he was a sophomore.

Finishing fourth in the state under any conditions is a massive accomplishment, but improving three spots in a tough weight class while being unable to wrestle for most of a two-year period is nearly unheard of.

“When I first came back, I was rusty, and I was worried if I would be the wrestler I was,” Logue said. “It took a few matches to get the confidence completely back, but I never really lost confidence. I figured I would be able to do it, I knew I was the same wrestler I was. I just needed to get better and get out there. I just wanted to wrestle.”

Logue has full confidence in his abilities. It’s why he’s been able to win 115 career matches despite missing more than a season and a half. This year he finished 23-3. But even he admits his fourth-place finish was a great accomplishment under the circumstances. And while he feels well enough to wrestle, his back remains tender.

“I found ways to manage the pain, it doesn’t stop me at all from doing anything in wrestling, but the pain is there,” Logue said. “It doesn’t change anything I do wrestling, I’m able to do whatever I need to do, I found ways to manage it.

“This year was real iffy. I kept thinking I’d be back, and then it was just a question if they’d ever clear me. So getting to states and finishing fourth is a great accomplishment. My goal when I was a sophomore was to win a state championship, and that’s what I wanted to do, but I’m happy I was able to get back and compete. Fourth is pretty good.”

Logue was quick to hand out praise to those who helped him become a two-time state medalist.

He learned a lot while wrestling at Judge and credits his teammates and coaches there.

He also put in a lot of work with his club team, Steller Trained, which practices out of Alvernia University.

But his biggest boost came from his older brothers Liam and Eamonn, who were both star wrestlers at Judge. They would beat him up in the wrestling room to make him tougher, but when he needed support, his family was right there. Liam is now in the Coast Guard, Eamonn is wrestling at the University of Wyoming.

“They’re a huge part of everything I’ve done, wrestling and in life,” Logue said. “Everything was easier because when I would wrestle, they did it before me. When I went to states, they did it before me. They’ve always helped me. They’re a big part of it.”

Logue also plans on following in their footsteps by wrestling after high school, though he’s unsure where he’ll end up. He plans on majoring in criminal justice. And he’s going to start preparing for next year very soon with his club team.

This is the time of year most wrestlers enjoy some time off, but Logue has spent enough time on the sidelines.

“I might take maybe a week, but I want to get back,” Logue said. “Wrestling at states was tough, mentally, physically and emotionally, but I want to wrestle. I am looking forward to getting back.”

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