BY JEFF FALK
SOUTH LEBANON – There are certain things in this life that we don’t get to choose. There are some things we can’t control.
But there are other things we do have control over. We all get to make our own decisions and choose our own ways.
Ultimately, we are all products of both nature, nurture and circumstance. But what makes us special and unique – and individuals – are both where we come from, and the paths we choose.
Logan Horn is his own person. He continues to make his own way as a student-athlete. But for Horn, it hasn’t always been easy.
Searching in a long shadow cast by someone you look up to never is. It’s been an evolutionary process for Horn, but no longer is he Evan’s little brother.
“I think he got to a point where he said, ‘I’m just going to be Logan,'” said Tom Smith, who as Cedar Crest’s head basketball coach and assistant football coach, has witnessed the athletic exploits of both Horns first-hand. “Like, ‘I’m going to do what Logan does.’ That’s the one thing we’ve seen from him.’ ‘Just be Logan’. ‘Just be your own person’. It’s something we talk about a lot.”
“It definitely was challenging,” said Horn. “Just keeping my emotions in check. I remember him making all those plays, and I wanted to be like him.
“I definitely tried to do some things like him,” added Horn. “Everything’s a competition between us.”
Horn has certainly come into his own during this, his senior season, as a student-athlete at Cedar Crest, especially on the basketball floor.
Averaging 22.3 points per outing, Horn has emerged as one of the most prolific scorers in the Lancaster-Lebanon League. But his impact on the 9-1 Falcons has been more as a leader or a whatever-it-takes ‘glue guy’.
Twice this season, Horn has been recognized as a Most Valuable Player at tournaments the Falcons have won.
“My role is to be a leader,” said Horn. “It’s not just scoring points, even though the points are coming right now. Being a leader is my biggest role.
“Things are definitely going real well for us,” continued Horn. “We’re gelling better than people thought, and we’re all believing in each other. I don’t think we’re overachieving. We believed we could do it the whole time. I just think it’s trust and us being a family. We keep our heads up and keep moving forward.”
“His role has kind of evolved,” said Smith of Horn. “He’s such a team player. His role last year wasn’t to score as much. But he had a great summer.
“I’m super thrilled with where we’re at,” continued Smith. “We’ve put ourselves in a great position. I spend a lot of time with these guys, I knew what we had coming back. We lost a lot of talent from last year, and we knew replacing them would be tough.”
It may be that Horn’s basketball season is simply a continuation of the superb football season he is coming off of.
During the fall, the Falcons went 5-5, and Horn was recognized as the L-L Section One Back of the Year and the circuit’s Player of the Year. As Cedar Crest’s signal-caller, Horn completed 94 of his 173 pass attempts for 1,398 yards and ten touchdowns, and also rushed 87 times for 550 yards and seven more scores.
“No, not really,” said Horn, when asked if he’s allowed himself to reflect on what he’s been able to accomplish to this point of his scholastic career. “I’m just having fun, playing and seeing what happens. With high school sports, you only get to play them once, so you’ve got to have as much fun as you can.”
“He’s one of those special athletes,” said Smith of Horn. “He’s going to have his choice of sports in college. I’ve seen him pitch. I’ve seen him play quarterback. But I’m a little partial to basketball. He’s one heck of an athlete.”
When the weather breaks and spring arrives, Horn is also an exceptional pitcher/shortstop for the Falcons on the baseball diamond. Although he strives to compete at the next level, he has yet to decide on a college or a sport, despite receiving Division Two Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference interest in both football and baseball.
“I’m leaning towards football,” said Horn. “I’ve been talking to a bunch of schools. But whatever sport I’m in is my favorite, and right now I’m loving basketball.”
“He’s taken some major steps, every single year,” said Smith. “Logan playing in his brother’s shadow was nothing brought on by him or Evan. But it is difficult. He’s taken it in stride. He will never be known as Evan’s little brother. He did it himself.”
Horn has his strengths and weaknesses – as an athlete and a person – just like everybody else. It’s a universal fact that makes comparisons irrelevant. What athletics have done for the Horns is provide them with common ground, and helped make them even closer as brothers.
“I remember growing up and playing basketball in our driveway,” said Horn. “Then in the summer, before my freshman year of football, Evan told me, ‘You’re lifting with me.’ I think he was taking me under his wing and showing me the ropes.’ He still texts me after every single game.”
“Indirectly or directly, Evan had an influence on Logan,” said Smith. “They’re really close. Their family is close. When Evan is not at college, he’s at every one of Logan’s games. Logan watched his brother play, and it was like, ‘It would be neat to do something like that some day.'”
However they have occurred, there are certain aspects of the Horns’ games that are similar – their ability to rise to occasions, their knack for making plays, their power to make others around them better. Nature, nurture or a unique combination of both, each is competitive, humble and team-driven.
“It starts in the gym, in practice,” said Smith. “They both work very hard. They’re very instinctive. The one thing they have in common is they both love to compete. Their will to win, their refusal to lose – that’s contagious. One night that might mean putting up 25 points. Another night it might mean ten rebounds. Another night it might mean eight assists.”
“For me, basketball in my freshman year was a wake-up call,” said Horn. “I played both JV and varsity, and the difference in the speed of the game was crazy. Just the level of competition. Now I’m kind of the big fish in the pond. It’s a different kind of view.
“I want to do whatever I can to help the team,” concluded Horn. “It’s more about the team than it is about me.”
In his own time, and in his own way.
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