Solanco sophomore golfer Logan Wagner possesses the ambition to chase lofty goals and the maturity to realize achieving those objectives is possible only through hard work.
"I try to do something with golf every day," said Wagner, who first began dabbling in the sport when he was three and started playing tournaments six years later. "I practice or play just to keep the golf mindset in my body."
He is a member of three clubs – Tanglewood, Meadia Heights, and Bent Creek. He takes weekly lessons from Rob Rowe, Bent Creek's Director of Instruction.
"Logan is definitely a hard worker and has committed himself to getting better," said Rowe. "I love his work ethic and what he put into his game and what he puts into his health. He's doing all the right things."
Wagner is busy preparing for his second season with the Mules after enjoying a stellar freshman campaign.
"I just took it as like a regular golf day," said Wagner. "I didn't think much about it, just go out and play my game, just try not to think so much. If I hit a bad shot, leave it in the past and focus on the future. I expected good things out of me but I had to go and execute that."
Last fall, he captured the Section Two scoring title with an average round of 78.2. Wagner carded a 79 to tie for 10th at the Lancaster-Lebanon League Tournament to qualify for the district tournament, where shot an 86 to tie for 37th.
He has much higher aspirations this season.
"I want to have a better scoring average than last year," said Wagner. "We're going to have a pretty good team this year, so team-wise we're going to try to win the section. I think we can do that. We have some good kids coming up from eighth grade going into their freshman year. I want to keep it around even for a scoring average. I've just got to play my game. We've all got to play our games."
Averaging close to even par for the season is a herculean task but Wagner believes he's capable.
"I've been working pretty hard," Wagner said. "I'm going to continue that this season. I've just got to keep that focus and go out and do my best."
He is also aiming for berth in the state tournament after missing out last fall. "That's a huge goal," said Wagner. "I got knocked out in districts by a bad round and I've got to go out this year and fire back and try to go all the way to states."
His summer has been dedicated to reaching that goal. In addition to daily practrices, Wagner has also been participating in tournaments. Last week, he played in the annual Junior War of the Roses event for the second time.
Wagner's team, Wiping Our Spikes on Matt lost to Taking Down Haley's Comet by a point, 8 1/2 to 7 1/2. Wagner went 1-1-1 after halving the better ball match, losing in alternate shot, and winning his singles match.
"It's awesome," Wagner said. "Just to get with a bunch of different players that you know and get to play with them is a really cool experience because you don't get that opportunity that often. Having a teammate is also a really good time."
Even prior to the War of the Roses, Wagner had been busy. "I just try to get in as many tournaments as I can," he said. "I've played in a few AJGA (American Junior Golf Association) events and I played in a couple Buckeye Junior Tour events, which is a smaller tour. Just keep that competitive mindset with the upcoming high school golf season. Just try to put up some good scores."
Wagner shot even par during one Buckeye Junior Tour round. In a PA Junior tournament in Hershey, he rebounded from a poor first round to shoot 1-under the following day. "I was pretty proud of myself for that, just to fire back," Wagner said.
His power is one of the keys to his success. Wagner can drive the ball over 300 yards and swings a 7-iron 100 miles per hour, 10 miles per hour faster than the PGA tour average, Rowe said.
"It's crazy how strong he is and how athletic he is," added Rowe. "He's learning how to use what he has and learning how to put his game together to maximize his potential. He's very talented. Very athletic. He has so much power. We are working on harnessing it and working on precision."
Coach and player agree that Wagner's short game has the most room for improvement. "My tee balls are really good and my iron play has been pretty good this year," said Wagner. "Chipping has been a little bit on the low side so I can definitely get better at chipping and my all-around short game. I'm happy with how my putting is this year. It's gotten a lot better than last year. Short game is the one I need to work on the most."
Rowe knows Wagner will do just that. "He works on the right things," said the coach, who also operates a golf school, RoweGolf. "His mind is in a good place. He loves to compete. As a player and as a kid, he's a coach's dream."
Wagner has dreams of his own. "I would really love to get a scholarship for college," he said. "That's a definite goal. Whatever happens after that is kind of hard to think about. I'm just a guy who likes to take things step-by-step but once I get to college they'll be new goals. It will be interesting to see."
Rowe says Wagner is on a path to earn that college scholarship. "He's so talented," said Rowe. "He's one of the most talented kids I've ever coached as far as natural ability. I don't think he has a limit. His swing is technically sound. It depends on how far he wants to go. He's very coachable. The sky is the limit if he keeps working hard. He has a bright future and it's going to be fun watching him play."
Rowe is also proud of how Wagner conducts himself. "Even more impressive than his golf game is the type of young man he is," Rowe said. "He's very respectful, a good student, and super nice. As a person, he's even better than he is a golfer. He comes from a great family. He came to me to learn golf but we also want to develop young people. I'm very thankful to work with him."