After winning the Class 3A state heavyweight wrestling title in February, Delta High School senior Logan Church achieved another dream. Church became an All-American wrestler in March after placing fifth at the National High School Coaches Association High School Nationals senior class wrestling tournament.
Church, the son of Rich and Kim Church of Delta, was honored by the school last Friday during the Spring Fling assembly.
During his high school career Church compiled a 115-15 record. He wrestled his freshman year on the junior varsity squad while mentor and two-time state placer Marcus Garcia finished his high school varsity career. Being Garcia's partner, "I really had to choose either to quit the team or toughen up," he told the DCI last December ahead of winning his second heavyweight title at the highly competitive Central Warrior Classic.
Head coach Clayton Curtis describes Church as "a true wrestler. He lives and breathes wrestling," he told the DCI last December at the Warrior tournament. It's Church's attitude that makes him a winner, said Curtis. "He really believes he's going to do it this time."
His sophomore year Church placed sixth at state, and his junior year he was the 3A state runner-up and made the Colorado High School Activities Association All-State Second Team. Last spring he competed in his first nationals tournament, where he was one win away from placing.
In February, Church won the state heavyweight title, ending the season with a 41-0 record.
Held at the Virginia Beach Convention Center, the national tournament attracts more than 4,000 wrestlers and requires more than 40 mats, said Curtis, who along with assistant coach Luis Meza, traveled with Church to the tournament. Separate tournaments are held for each of the four high school classes, and there's also a middle school tournament.
Church advanced to the semifinal round, where he lost to a wrestler from New York, marking his first loss since the 2017 national championships. "That was disappointing," said Curtis, especially since Church had defeated that wrestler before. At the same time, "Hopefully the losses will keep him hungry" as he begins his career at Western State Colorado College this fall.
The tournament also incorporates college out-of-bounds rules for control, near-falls and falls, which is valuable experience heading into college-level competition, said Curtis.
Church was also named to the CHSAA All-State first team in football last fall. Curtis said that on the trip he thought about Church's accomplishment, and about when another Logan Church might come along. As a coach, having a wrestler of this caliber "is very rare," he said, and nationals "is a tough tournament." Some brackets might have 16 or 17 state champions, many of whom won't even place.
Anyone who can get to Virginia Beach can compete, said Curtis. "But you have to be a pretty special wrestler to go out and place."