EVANSTON — Last week, the Evanston football team paid tribute to the men who have built the school’s strong gridiron tradition.
Among them was former coach Murney Lazier, for whom the Wildkits’ stadium is named.
Lazier coached varsity football at Evanston for 18 seasons. His record at the end of his tenure was 127-15-4, which equates to an 87 percent winning percentage.
Desire, dedication, and humility are traits Lazier said he expected from every one of his football players. Further, he expected each player to find and accept his role on the team.
Evanston fell to a talented Niles West football team 47-42 in a Central Suburban South game Friday. But despite the team’s early struggles, linebacker Cedric Logan is a prime example of a player embracing the values that Lazier preached.
Logan is not a starter, but Friday the senior was an honorary captain. He was one of the Wildkits who stood next to Lazier for the coin toss at midfield before the game. Evanston (2-3, 0-1) won the toss, chose to receive and then scored 15 seconds after the kick.
Logan’s 5-8 and weighs 185 pounds, but he personifies an old football adage:
“He’s an terrific example of ‘It’s not the size of somebody, it’s how they play the game and what’s inside of him,’ ” Evanston coach Mike Burzawa said.
Burzawa cited the effort Logan gives each week in practice, where he’s accepted his role. He makes the starters better. He makes sure they’re as prepared as possible each Friday night.
“He’s a young man that brings it day in and day out,” Burzawa said. “He has tremendous heart.”
Asked what he brings to the table each week for the Wildkits, Logan didn’t hesitate to answer.
“I bring the team effort,” he said. “I’m a fierce competitor, but also a person that’s very humble. The reason I’m humble is because of my team. Everything I do is all for the team.”
Logan’s a player whose approach likely would have made him a good fit on one of Lazier’s teams.
“We try to make sure we understand the great tradition we have at Evanston High School,” Burzawa said. “So many wonderful guys have contributed to the tradition of Evanston football. We want to honor them.”