What’s in a name? Everything, if you’re Logan Heil.
The Brunswick junior will make his third appearance at the Division I state wrestling tournament today, and almost everyone will know his name.
An accomplished wrestler in his own right, the returning state placer — he finished third last year — has one of the most recognizable names in the sport.
One of his four brothers, Dean Heil, was a four-time state champion for St. Edward and has won two consecutive national titles at Oklahoma State after finishing fourth as a freshman.
Another brother, Josh Heil, was Brunswick’s first four-time state placer and is finding great success at Campbell University, where he was a national qualifier as a freshman.
His father, Mike Heil, was a two-time state placer for Brooklyn High School and wrestled at John Carroll.
Logan Heil doesn’t sweat it. In fact, the 120-pounder is proud of his legacy.
“There’s some form of pressure it has on me, but all in all it’s just a sport,” he said. “It’s just high school. It’s all for fun. In college is when the pressure is on.
“I want to perform differently than my brothers, but I still want to perform well. I want to show people that I’m a good enough opponent.”
The name has led to some confusion, as Heil has been called by one of his brothers’ names by many people and publications, including this one.
While some might want to break free, he accepts it and strives to keep up an incredible legacy.
“It really doesn’t bother him that much,” Brunswick coach Mike Koshar said. “He’s very proud of his brothers. He wants to accomplish what they’ve accomplished, but he doesn’t try to put pressure on himself. He doesn’t compare himself to them. He realizes they have their accomplishments and accolades. He’s just trying to be Logan Heil.”
That’s been very good so far as the junior continues to push forward.
After winning the Wadsworth Sectional and North Canton Hoover District, he’ll compete in a loaded weight class that includes returning state champions in Elyria’s Brendon Fenton and Brecksville’s Julian Tagg.
Heil could meet Tagg in the semifinals, with Fenton likely waiting in the wings in the finals.
No sweat. As he said before, it’s just wrestling.
“You don’t have to tell him to go,” Koshar said. “He’s ready to go. When the ref blows the whistle, he’s ready. It’s just outworking your opponent, and that’s what he tries to do every single solitary day.”
That said, Heil hasn’t made wrestling his entire life. While he wants to wrestle in college, it’s not the be-all, end-all.
“When he walks out of the wrestling room, wrestling is over,” Mike Heil said. “He’s not one of those guys that says, ‘I have to read the internet. I have to watch videos.’ He gets away from it, and that’s how he releases from it.
“His brothers will text and talk, but other than that his way to separate from the world is to leave it. It’s homework. It’s playing video games. It’s playing with his dog. Once he leaves, he doesn’t sweat wrestling at all.”
That’s not to say Heil isn’t taking advantage of incredible resources. If there’s a question or if one of his brothers sees something, they’re quick to call with advice.
“There’s a couple moves I’ve pulled from Dean that are great technique-wise,” Heil said. “Honestly, I don’t think anyone knows. Josh, on the other hand, his coaches have taught him how to be more aggressive. That fits well with the person I am. It fits really well.
“I like to take some of Dean and Josh’s technique and work on it myself and make it one style. I’m trying to be the best Logan I can be.”
Heil will step on the mat today with the drive to reach the top. He’ll do so with a 34-3 mark this season and 107 career victories. He’ll do so expecting success.
“It’s something about the fact when he steps out on the mat, he gets it,” Mike Heil said. “He knows he had two brothers before him that did some pretty awesome things. He wants to do awesome things.
“It’s not just because of his brothers. It’s the one thing he does that he really wants to excel at and he does. Somehow, he figures it out. It’s exciting to watch because he works so hard at it.”
Contact Brad Bournival at firstname.lastname@example.org.