WEST LIBERTY – West Liberty-Salem honored Logan Cole before the start of Friday night’s OHC rivalry game with Triad, presenting him with a plaque commemorating his valor during the school shooting that took place on Jan. 20.
Cole was shot and critically wounded during the incident, but is credited with limiting the damage to other students by talking to and praying with the alleged shooter, Ely Serna.
“It’s been overwhelming. I’m just so thankful for everything. It’s been a pretty crazy experience and I’m just so thankful to everyone for all they’ve done,” Cole said.
Superintendent Kraig Hissong presented the award, calling Cole “a shining example of humility and the grace of God.”
After a rousing ovation, the teams took to the court and, feeding off the large home crowd, WL-S prevailed, 55-30.
“That was special. It was really neat seeing Logan recognized and the community coming together in support,” WL-S Coach Darrin Leichty said. “They were really loud and it was just a fun atmosphere to go out in on Senior Night.”
The Tigers had the game in control from the opening tip, jumping out to a 19-6 lead after a quarter and taking a 29-15 margin into the intermission.
“We were just ice cold. Two of the last three games, we were on the road and just shot awful,” Triad Coach Jason Malone said. “Good shooting can make up for a lot of bad stuff, but bad shooting – and you compound that with turnovers and failing to get stops on your own defensive end – it’s going to make for a really bad night.”
The second half was more of the same, with WL-S executing more often than not and Triad struggling to find a rhythm against the quick hands and feet of the Tigers.
“It all fed off of our defense. The ball moved because we were aggressive on defense, we rebounded misses and we defended extremely well,” Leichty said. “We got a little stagnant in the second quarter, but I thought our energy in the second half was good again.”
For the Tigers, Tyler Louden had 15 points. Max Eggleston scored 12 and Kannon Stillings had 10. Triad was led by Hadley LeVan with 11 points. Thomas O’Neal added 8 points for the Cardinals.
In the jayvee game, WL-S won, 31-21. Oliver McGuire had 14 points for the Tigers and Cody King scored 7.
West Liberty-Salem begins the postseason next Friday at Northmont against Greeneview, while Triad plays next Saturday at Piqua versus Lehman Catholic.
As for Cole, his journey back to health is just beginning, but the Cole family remains optimistic in the face of adversity, mostly due to faith.
“(Logan) has shown us many times over the past weeks what it is to be a follower of Jesus Christ,” said Ryan Cole, Logan’s father.