Springdale’s Logan Dexter puts latest injury behind him, eyes big senior year

Thursday, July 29, 2021 | 6:17 PM

During a seven-on-seven scrimmage with his Urban Impact club team in March, Logan Dexter went up to catch a pass and came down hard on his left wrist.

The versatile Springdale rising senior knew something was wrong.

Dexter tore ligaments in the wrist and had to get surgery.

Suddenly, he was sidelined, and nearly four months of opportunities to improve and get his game in front of college scouts and coaches were lost.

Dexter, the Valley News Dispatch’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2020, was disappointed, but he didn’t wallow too deep in his misfortune.

Instead, rehab and recovery, with the focus of being back to full strength heading into his final high school season, put him back on the field with a wrist brace for a Freeport seven-on-seven July 14.

“(The injury) really sucked, but I am now back, and I think I am playing really well,” said Dexter, who recorded a team-high 79 tackles, four interceptions, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery last year for a Springdale team that went 5-3 overall, 5-2 in the Class 1A Eastern Conference and earned a berth to WPIAL playoffs.

“I’ve had a couple of injuries throughout my career, so I knew what I needed to do to bounce back from it. I wasn’t in too much of a rush just to get back for seven-on-sevens. I just wanted to make sure I did everything I needed to do to be 100 percent for the season with my teammates, which is more important.”

During a dramatic Week Zero victory over Deer Lakes two years ago, Dexter suffered a severe hip injury that required a trip to the hospital followed by several weeks of recovery and therapy.

He returned to the field six weeks later and helped the Dynamos rout Northgate.

Springdale finished the 2019 season 6-4 overall.

Dexter completed his sophomore season with seven catches for 94 yards and three touchdowns, and he added 30 tackles (19 solo) on defense.

“Every time I’ve had an injury, everyone around me has been so supportive,” Dexter said. “It made me want to work that much harder to get back. I know that I will be able to recover.”

Dexter, a two-way starter since his freshman season in 2018, also made an impact last season on offense and special teams. He rushed for 523 yards and eight touchdowns, caught 25 passes for 447 yards and four touchdowns and also returned a punt for a score.

He said patience and perseverance among the coaches and players played a big part in his team’s ability to weather the covid storm.

“We were just excited to get back and play the sport we all love,” he said. “We were given an opportunity to play when there was the uncertainty that we would get to play. We wanted to make sure we took advantage of all chances.”

Springdale coach Seth Napierkowski is excited to see what Dexter can do this season.

“Every year, Logan has been that impact player who has added new elements to his game,” Napierkowski said.

“He’s really taken to improve the areas where he was a little weaker than others from last year. That comes from his leadership abilities for this team. He wants to improve his game, but he’s always looking to lead by example and be the player that the younger ones can look up to.”

In addition to his VND Player of the Year honor, Dexter was selected to the Eastern Conference all-star defense as a defensive back.

“He’s a great example of the versatility you need at a small school like we are,” Napierkowski said. “There are a number of players on the team like that who know multiple positions. Logan always is ready to play at different places to help the team. As one of our top playmakers, we can put him in different spots where he can get a favorable matchup. You will see him all over the field.”

With his recent break away from the field, Dexter was unable to play in seven-on-sevens and also couldn’t accept several invitations to camps such as Notre Dame (Ohio) and Temple. He also was invited to Clarion and Washington & Jefferson.

Dexter said that played into his current motivations to be ready to show up and show out for colleges over the next several months.

“I feel like I have a lot to prove,” Dexter said. “Sometimes I feel that being from a smaller school, I tend to get overlooked a little. I want to show that I can hang with people and be that player that college programs want.”

Springdale finalized the major part of its summer workouts this week, and the players will gather for heat acclimation workouts the week of Aug. 9 in advance of the start of preseason practices Aug. 16.

“I think we have a really good shot to do some big things this year,” Dexter said. “We have a lot of players back from last year, and everyone’s been working hard at the summer workouts. We’ve all been playing together for so long. This is the year we’ve been waiting for.”

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at mlove@triblive.com or via Twitter .


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