NORTH VANCOUVER — As the starting quarterback of the Carson Graham Eagles, Logan Mellish puts all of his cards on the table each time he takes command of the huddle.
“I love contact,” states the 6-foot-3, 200-pound Mellish, whose selfless, old-school approach to the pivot position has helped position the Eagles as provincial contenders amongst a tight pack of rivals in the AA Coastal Conference.
His head coach, in fact, has come to appreciate not only the bull-in-a-china-shop mentality that the 17-year-old Mellish brings, but also the blue-collar manner in which he embraces the selfless aspects of the game for the betterment of the whole.
“It’s a willingness to facilitate instead of having to be ‘the guy,’” explains head coach Brian Brady of Mellish, a dual-sport athlete who doubles as promising lacrosse prospect with the Coquitlam Adanacs junior teams.
“He is totally fine if he is the blackjack dealer, making sure all of the other guys get the cards,” Brady continues of this week’s Varsity Letters’ B.C. High School Football Player of the Week, whose statistical resume this season is a full house of both passing and rushing.
As the No. 4-ranked Eagles (5-2) head into their bye weekend, Mellish sits not only fifth in AA passing yardage and third in TD passes with 834 yards and nine touchdowns, he is also his tier’s leading rusher — running backs included — with 479 yards and another two rushing touchdowns.
This past Friday, in the team’s come-from-behind 20-15 win over the Argyle Pipers, Mellish carried 23 times for 154 yards, as well as passing for another 72 yards and a score.
Yet throughout his football career, including the North Shore’s community-based Gordon Sturtridge League, Mellish played primarily as a running back and a linebacker, the latter a position which might wind up being his best fit, but one he is not playing this season because of the physical demands which are part of his style on offence.
Mellish has played for the Eagles since arriving as an eighth grader. In the 2018 season, as a Grade 9 on the JV team, he also dressed for games with the big boys. And in 2019, as a 10th grader, was able to get his first senior varsity snaps.
“I would love to play both,” Mellish says of a post-secondary career that included both football and lacrosse, “but if I had a football offer I’d take it. And if I had a lacrosse offer I’d take it.”
In the meantime, he’s doing everything in his power to help his team compete within a AA field that includes fellow blue-chip foes like Langley, Robert Bateman of Abbotsford, Nanaimo’s John Barsby and Ballenas of Parksville.
Fellow senior Ashton Fink (24 carries, 166 yards, two TDs vs. Argyle) is among the best running backs in AA this season, the wide-receiver group within the team’s Air Raid attack is dynamic and sure-handed, and in fellow senior quarterback Tanner McClure, the 6-foot-4, 180-pound pre-season starter who is just now returning from injury, the quarterback position is deep.
And of course, with as much as the Eagles rely on their ground game, a spirited offensive line of left tackle Vytor Oliviera, left guard Kehn Guiao, centre Aleksandar Wallace, right guard Sherwin Gozali and right tackle Obinna Ikediashi, as well as sixth-man Rory Girdler, has been at the very foundation of team success on offence.
Mellish, however, has been the wild card, the guy with intangibles who has played his best in coming from the back of the pack.
“He brings an element to our offence which we haven’t had in like six years,” says Brady. “He brings a confidence. And he is a consummate team guy.”
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