Westmoreland County football Q&A with Penn-Trafford’s Logan Hawkins

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Thursday, August 24, 2017 | 12:00 AM


Logan Hawkins wasn't too worried about Monday's solar eclipse. The Penn-Trafford senior lineman took a peek at the moon-covered sun through a pair of special glasses, shrugged it off and headed for the weight room for a pre-practice lift.

“It's Week Zero. It's Norwin. We're ready to play some real football,” Hawkins said.

Penn-Trafford hopes to blot out Norwin Friday night when the teams face off in the season opener in North Huntingdon. The Warriors have a six-game winning streak against the Knights.

Hawkins (6-2, 270) is a two-way standout who will play center and nose guard as senior-led Penn-Trafford aims to return to the WPIAL playoffs. Despite a 7-3 record last year, the Warriors missed the Class 5A playoffs for the first time in coach John Ruane's seven-year tenure.

Hawkins has committed to play at Akron. He was recruited to play defensive tackle and turned down offers from Eastern Michigan, Robert Morris, Delaware, Ball State, Navy, Army and Notre Dame College (Ohio).

He is a third-year starter.

“We have a significant amount of experience coming back,” Ruane said. “We're going to rely a ton on guys like Logan and (senior lineman) Will Mayr to lead our young guys and show them the way. Logan is a great athlete for his size.”

Hawkins, who started on P-T's WPIAL runner-up team two years ago, had 43 tackles and eight sacks last season.

“We want to win the section first and foremost,” Hawkins said. “Then, go from there. Anything less than that would be very disappointing.”

How is the team handling raised expectations with so many key players back?

There have been expectations since I have been here. I have watched how the senior guys before me have led the team.

What good came out of last Saturday'sscrimmage against Hempfield?

We had some spots to fill on the offensive line, and I think we settled that. We wanted to see who was in shape for a game. I think we all are.

How big is it to open the season against cross-town rival Norwin?

It's big. We know some of those guys, and it's probably friendlier than in the past, but as soon as it's game time, we're not friends.

Everyone calls you “Bubba.” When did that start?

My dad started calling me that when I was a baby, and it stuck.

What do you order at Primanti Bros.?

The Pittsburgher.

Who has the best pizza around?

Well, I better say Wise Guys (in Trafford) because I work there.

What is your first memory of Penn-Trafford football?

I remember going to games with Cam Laffoon because his brother (Brett) was a lineman. We never imagined we would be on the field some day.

What is it like to block for senior running back John Gay IV?

He is a heck of a back. He got more chances last year and took advantage of them. He's faster and a strong runner. We trust him with his cuts.

What set Akron apart from your other college suitors?

They came in and offered me (face-to-face) and had my major (sports management).

Penn-Trafford won the lineman challenge at Penn State for the second straight summer. What did that do for the team?

Lineman don't get to do much in seven-on-sevens so it was good for us. We flipped tires, pulled rope and pushed the sled. We needed 13 guys and only had eight, so we got some guys from Tyrone to be on our team. It was a fun time.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at bbeckner@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BillBeckner.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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