Commentary: Koch Sets New Bar

Logan Koch (Mill Valley)

by David Brox, davidbrox@shukc.com


I obviously can not confirm this as there would be few references to find this out.  I will open it up though for anyone to find a person that has completed the rare feat Logan Koch helped cap off yesterday evening in Topeka. 
Name an athlete that started for both a football and basketball state championship in the same year?
Few athletes are able to cross both lines at such a high level than what Koch has done in his senior season.  He was a very productive QB for the state champion football team and an effective point guard for the now champion basketball team.  Perhaps Logan is waking up this morning from his dream season exhausted from his 4 year journey here.
When I met Logan during his sophomore year he came by my wife’s office to pick up his All SHUKC trophy for basketball and take some pictures.  He was quiet and honestly didn’t look like much of an athlete.  Looks obviously were deceiving and perhaps many on the field and court thought the same way until the game actually started.  During a game he was a fierce competitor and played at a very high level.  Logan’s maturity as an athlete was not so much in his skill which was obvious to everyone but in his leadership.
I heard it time and time again about Koch as a sophomore and junior on the football field.  One of the most gifted runners of the ball I have covered Koch in the eyes of some including myself at times was that he was selfish.  He carried the ball A LOT and paid for it with the punishment he accumulated over the course of those two seasons.  So much that it impacted him into basketball season last year with the knee injury.  Perhaps it was that knee injury or a younger version of himself that made him realize that he could let his team mates carry some of the load.
Cooper Kaifes is a mirror image of Koch in terms of natural basketball skill.  Kaifes will not be a football star but his emergence on the scene as a freshman provided some incentive for Koch to be willing to share and a reason to lead.  Hobbled and at times frustrated by the knee injury Koch was forced to let Kaifes, Holmberg and Conklin share the work load and it resulted in a trip to state in 2015.  That trip to state last year is truly the turning point in what will be one of the most storied high school careers in Kansas high school history.
The 2015 Mill Valley Jaguar football team was special.  The overall leadership and skill had developed into a power house and Logan Koch was leading the way for the offense.  His numbers were very good but what we witnessed was a player improving himself overall by taking a step backwards.  That small step backwards and ability to distribute the ball to play makers resulted in a state championship and the complete emergence of Christian Jegen who won the Otis Taylor Award and a finalist for the Simone Award.
Riding that success into basketball season, the evolution of this young man came full circle.  Koch’s scoring numbers this season were way down but his assists were way up.  Despite the skill to be one of the top scorers in the area he again opened the door for his team mates.  Kaifes had emerged and capped it off by leading Mill Valley in the championship game with 22 points.  Clayton Holmberg dominated with 19 points and 13 rebounds.  Conklin repeatedly drained 3’s in transition.  All of this while Koch orchestrated through his hard play and skill.
There are a few athletes I have come across that I simply won’t forget.  Benny Parker, J’Veyon Browning, Vernon Vaughn, Jordan Jackson, Collin and Ryan Murphy, Joe Schneider, Khalil Bailey, Colton Beebe and Christian Jegen.  Logan Koch is now on that list and will always have my respect for his hard work and perseverance.  Congrats to him and the Mill Valley Jaguars for a magical football and basketball school year.

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