Logar’s leadership and outstanding play on defense helped lead the Minutemen to a state championship in 2018.
Washington Township High School boys soccer was as close to perfect as a team could be in 2018.
The Minutemen won the 2018 NJSIAA Group IV state championship, swept through Olympic Conference American Division play with a perfect 10–0 record and finished the season with an overall record of 25–1.
At the heart of Washington Township’s lineup was senior Jake Logar, a second-year captain and midfielder who served as the key player on the Minutemen’s outstanding defense. Logar’s leadership and standout defensive play makes him the 2018 Sun Newspapers Boys Soccer Player of the Year.
Logar is the youngest of three in his family and followed in the footsteps of his older brothers, Ryan and Tyler, both of whom also served as captains for Washington Township.
“Both of my brothers were captains their seniors years,” Logar said. “Even sophomore and junior year, I was expected to come in as a leader.”
Logar was named a captain in 2017, but this year, head coach Shane Snyder saw Logar really grow into the role and become more vocal on the field.
“He was the one dictating the play,” Snyder said. “He was the one organizing the game. He was the one telling guys where to go.”
“I called him The General,” Snyder added. “That’s what he was. He was out there as communicator, facilitator and leader.”
Snyder felt Logar’s leadership was best defined during the Minutemen’s Senior Day game on Oct. 8 against Cherry Hill High School West. With Washington Township up big in the second half, Snyder tried to put all of the seniors into the game. However, with 12 seniors on the team, someone had to sit out.
“The seniors are all in but with 12, there’s one on the bench,” Snyder said. “(Logar) came over to me and said, ‘Take me out.’”
“He’s thinking of his teammates and thinking of the next level, about another kid’s enjoyment,” Snyder said.
On the field, Logar played multiple positions, but spent most of his time at holding defensive midfield, a spot where he could play the ball up to his attackers while still staying back to lead the defense.
“With (seniors Arturo Serano and Ryan Jobes), that was the start,” Logar said in explaining his role. “I would always let them go up and get their chances and I would be the one to hold back so it wouldn’t be on our defense the whole time.”
Snyder noted Logar has great vision and skills. He said Logar was an outstanding tackler and ball winner in the middle of the field and he could play the ball anywhere on the field with both of his feet.
Logar and the defense stepped up in a big way during Washington Township’s six-game playoff run to the state championship. The Minutemen allowed just two goals in those six games, controlling possession of the ball and preventing the opposition from getting solid chances in the offensive zone.
Logar attributed Washington Township’s strong defensive performance to an adjustment the team made after its only loss of the season, a 2–1 loss to St. Augustine Prep in the finals of the South Jersey Coaches’ Tournament on Oct. 27.
“A lot of it was just getting pressure on the ball,” Logar said. “We were lazy that game. The next couple of practices, we re-iterated that we needed to be on everyone’s back.”
Snyder noted the team embraced the lesson it learned in the Coaches’ Tournament, noting the team completely shut down the Morris Knolls High School offense in Washington Township’s 2–0 win in the state championship game.
“The last 40 minutes of the state championship game, I don’t think the goalie touched it,” Snyder said.
Logar’s season ended with a knee injury he suffered in the state final. However, the injury didn’t put a damper on the celebration.
“It was a mix of joy and relief,” Logar said. “The last two years, in the (state) semifinals, we lost in PKs and we lost 1–0. They were really great games and then this year, we won that same game 4–0.”
Logar also got to follow in his brother’s footsteps. Washington Township’s last state championship came in 2015, the season where Jake’s brother, Ryan, was a team captain.
Jake also plans to continue his family’s legacy after high school. In the early 1990s, his father, Andy, was one of the top Division III players in the country playing for Glassboro State College, now named Rowan University. Tyler and Ryan followed their father’s footsteps to play soccer at Rowan. Now Jake plans to also attend Rowan beginning next fall with a major in biomedical engineering.