SHERIDAN — As the Winter season of sports comes to a close and athletes are being awarded for their accomplishments, it has become clear that Sheridan County has an abundance of exceptional student athletes.
One such person who stands apart from the crowd has reached exceptional levels of play that have been noticed by teams and coaches state wide.
Logan Garstad has been playing hockey for 12 years since joining the roller hockey team at Scotty’s Skate Castle at age 6. This year, his senior year of high school sports action, his game play put him on top of his regular team, the Sheridan Hawks, but also landed him accolades including a spot on Team Wyoming and junior league recruitment offers. Garstad shined this year as a Hawk, ending the season with 33 points from 12 goals and 21 assists, outscoring the second top points player by 10.
This well-rounded student athlete has also participated in tennis and baseball while maintaining a consistent spot on the school honor roll list.
Defying athletic stereotypes, Garstad says his other focus in life is school. Math is his favorite subject because “there is usually only one right answer” he says, and he hopes to attend the University of Wyoming in the fall.
In August of 2013, Garstad tried out for Team Wyoming and for the fourth consecutive year was selected to represent his state on the ice. For the past three years Garstad has also been courted by the Gillette junior team’s coach to tryout and attend camp. Junior hockey focuses on player development at the highest levels and often prepares players for professional level play.
This year, other junior leagues have taken notice of his skill and recently the Yellowstone Quake head coach offered Garstad a spot on the roster for next season and the coach of the new junior team in Casper approached him to be on the inaugural team this season as well.
“It means a lot to me to be asked to try out for the three teams because it gives me the opportunity to play hockey at a higher level,” said Garstad.
“I’m flattered that they thought I have enough talent to be recognized.”
Garstad says being recruited by these high level teams is one of his biggest accomplishments to date. His other proudest moments are being named an all-state player in the A division and leading his team in total points for the first time in his hockey career.
Garstad’s name may have a familiar ring. Beyond Logan making headlines himself, his father is Zane Garstad, Hawks head coach, Rodeo Board President, Sheridan College employee and otherwise leading figure in the Sheridan community.
Logan said having his father as his coach had some definite advantages as they could delve deeper in discussion about what he needs to improve upon after they went home. However, it wasn’t always easy as he also found it easier to disagree with his coaching dad, which is not good for development as a player.
Garstad thinks he will one day be a coach like his dad. He knows the time will come that he won’t be able to play high level hockey anymore and said coaching is the “next best thing.” His love of the game has led him to be a student coach of younger teams in years past as well, though he knows he will always play even if it’s “just in a men’s league.”
“The game means so much to me,” he said, “it would be hard to ever give it up.”
He attributes hockey with offering many great contributions to his life including friendship, fitness and focus. Another benefit he has found from the game is travel, noting a trip to Toronto, Canada for an international hockey tournament with a pit stop at the hockey hall of fame was his best hockey memory to date.
Garstad is especially thankful to his parents, coaches and teammates for all the help they have offered throughout the years and with talent, brains and a support system like his, he is sure to continue to amaze spectators for years to come.