For Logan Smith and his Winona teammates, next year’s goal is simple — a state championship.
Smith will be one of the team’s 14 returning starters next fall. He figures to be an integral part on both sides of the ball again for the Winhawks, which were one win away from the apex of Class AAAA in 2016. They lost a 31-28 heartbreaker to Benilde-St. Margaret’s in Prep Bowl XXXV.
“Last season really got the town of Winona behind us and showing support,” Smith said via email. “We're hoping we have just as much support throughout the community as last year. That should give us the motivation to reach that goal.”
Smith led the Winhawks with nine interceptions at safety and caught 16 passes for 251 yards and three touchdowns at receiver. He specifically excels at jump balls, using his 6-foot-5 frame to out flank receivers and defensive backs alike.
Multiple Division II schools around the upper Midwest like Winona State, Minnesota State-Moorhead and Northern Michigan are recruiting Smith. He also was invited to junior days at Princeton and Holy Cross, as well as the University of Minnesota.
He said MSU-Moorhead has been in contact with him the most thus far.
“The biggest quality I look for in a school is how good the academic program is and the ability to create relationships with the coaching staff and the players,” Smith said.
Smith also competes in basketball at Winona, and has been busy with offseason training for football, working specifically on getting stronger in the weight room and improving his footwork.
He’s still found time, however, to work at the counter of the Lakeview Drive Inn, making ice cream treats for customers inside and occasionally waiting on vehicles outside.
“I really enjoy interacting with customers,” said Smith, who’s been working at the long-standing Winona restaurant for three years. “Friendly people make working at the Drive Inn twice as fun.”
He’s hoping to have some on the gridiron next fall too — all the way to U.S. Bank Stadium.