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LAST year, Logan Galarno had a huge junior season as a Columbus East linebacker.
So when he arrived for the 2013 season, he might have been surprised by the news that he was being asked to change positions.
“We had a dilemma when it came to getting guys on the field,” East coach Bob Gaddis said. “And Logan is a very versatile player.”
He is so versatile that the Olympians’ coaching staff looked at him as a rush end before deciding to move him back to the defensive backfield.
“It is a different aspect of the game (from linebacker),” said Galarno, who has helped Class 4A No. 1 East to a 4-0 start to the season as the starting strong safety. “Last year, I was playing downhill. Stopping the run was the first priority. Now it’s about backpedaling first.”
As a junior, Galarno had 59 tackles, including nine stops for loss. He always was around the ball and finished with four forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
Playing safety, Galarno isn’t going to put up the same numbers, although he does have 15 tackles this season, a tackle for loss and a fumble recovery.
Although he has to worry more about pass defense, Galarno said he has the “exact, same mentality” when it comes to making a tackle. It’s just that he might arrive a little later.
Gaddis said that the senior has had to follow a learning curve, though.
“He just has to get comfortable there,” Gaddis said. “But one thing that Logan always has done is great preparation. The other guys ask him when they don’t know something.”
Despite his solid work ethic, Galarno was slightly concerned if he would pick up the position fast enough.
“And I’m not the fastest guy on the field,” he said. “But we play a lot of zone coverages, and we come up fast.”
As a linebacker, Galarno would read the offensive guards, the quarterback and the tailback as he tried to sniff out the play.
“Now I am reading the No. 1 and No. 2 wide receivers, then the tight end and then the quarterback,” he said.
In the end, Gaddis and the Olympians are just happy to have the 6-foot-1, 190-pounder on the field somewhere making a contribution.
“I honestly wouldn’t have thought I could pick this position up this fast,” he said. “But I do think it is a good fit, and it gives us leadership on all levels of the defense (defensive line, linebackers and the defensive backfield).”
East has allowed only 44 points in its four games this season.
“We’re having a good year,” Galarno said.
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