Logan Jerry probably won’t have to spend a lot of time worrying about making friends when he starts school next week.
There’s a good chance people will already know who he is before his first day of orientation.
And if they went to last week’s football game, they might even have a George Washington High School football jersey with “Jerry” on the back.
That’s how good he’s been before he even stepped foot in the school as a student.
Jerry, 14, is heading into his freshman year at the school, but he’s been a part of the football program all summer and on Friday, he got his first start in his team’s opening-night game against a good Frankford football team.
Jerry proceeded to throw for four touchdowns while rushing for another as Washington got off to a good start, besting the Pioneers 37-0 in both teams’ first game of the season at Northeast.
Not a bad start for a kid who probably isn’t sure where the cafeteria is located.
“Honestly, I felt like I wasn’t expecting it, but I’m aware of my abilities and I knew how good this team was, so I wasn’t surprised,” said Jerry, a Mayfair resident. “It was an accomplishment. It was a team accomplishment. I was glad I got to get my team the W. We played really good as a team.
“It was a great way to start and I know it was fun for all of us because it’s a rivalry game, and there was some talking online because we’re rivals. They’re a good team. I was really happy with the way we played. We won as a team.”
Jerry talks like a true leader, which is pretty remarkable considering he just graduated eighth grade less than three months ago.
But he’s been bred for this since birth.
Growing up in a football family, he started playing football at 5 years old. He started playing for the Rhawnhurst Raiders before joining the AAU travel team, Semper Fi Dawgs. He also played for the Olney Eagles Elite team, and last year he played for Logan, a team that ended up winning the AAU National championship in Florida, where he was named MVP and Mid-Atlantic AAU national athlete of the year.
He’s always been a good football player, but he wasn’t always a great quarterback.
“When I first started playing, I was a wingback, which was a little receiver, a little running back,” Jerry said. “I loved it. It was a lot of fun. It definitely helped me play quarterback because I had to run and protect myself while running.
“When I changed teams, they wanted me at quarterback because they figured I was a good athlete and get the ball in my hands. I ran more than I should have. It wasn’t really an option, they put me back there and before I knew what I was doing, I didn’t know reads, I was just running. But they taught me to play quarterback.”
Now, he’s using what he learned and so far, he’s been doing it to perfection.
“We watched film, a lot of study that week and we really got ready to play, we were so prepared,” Jerry said. “A lot of communicating with our teammates, too. We helped each other. We were excited about the game, it was a big rivalry game. It was all about the preparation. We knew if we did what we were told to do, we’d be fine.”
Jerry has been working on his football skills with the Eagles since he found out he was going to Washington last school year.
But since he arrived, he’s been working on being a leader.
He said earning the starting nod wasn’t easy. There were three other guys battling it out with him for running the offense, but in the end, he was picked.
Because of that, he knows he has to do more than throw touchdown passes and help the Eagles pick up chunks of yards. When you’re the starting quarterback, you have to be a leader. Even if you’re 14 years old in a huddle with 18-year-old men who have been there.
And so far, the older guys are following the lead of their young teammate.
It’s not about age, it’s about maturity.
“I feel like I can be a leader, my age doesn’t stop me from doing that,” Jerry said. “People respect me on the field because of who I am. If I didn’t have the respect, I wouldn’t be the quarterback.
“Coming to the school, I have a lot of teammates who I played with in little league. They took me under their wing. They’re captains and varsity players, and I have a lot of respect from guys on the team. Hanging out with them, they give me tips, they help me a lot. I had a good game, but I didn’t do it myself. I had a lot of help.”
Jerry isn’t just a football player, he’s a natural athlete. While football is his bread and butter, he’s looking forward to playing basketball in the winter. He’s a shooting guard. In the spring, he’ll run track.
Football is his favorite, but he wants to be well rounded.
“My family is really athletic,” said Jerry, adding that his dad was a basketball player and his dad’s dad was the one who got him into football. “My cousin (Terrell Chestnut) played in the NFL. Sports, football, mostly, but all sports, my family is really into athletics. We love it.”
Which is why Jerry hopes his freshman year continues through December.
That’s the goal, and he’s hoping he does it this year, or in the future.
“I really want to win a Public League chip,” he said. “And city title. And state championship. I think this team is very good. I think we can win. I knew coming here we could be good. I’m not worried about what I did last week. That was good, but I’m worried about the future. We have a lot to do.”