Walking into Millard South feels surreal. It’s been three years since I stepped inside these hallways. A lot has changed. The gym is completely renovated, same as the library. New faces surround me as I walk in the halls, pretending to be one of them as students scurry towards their last class of the day. One thing has remained constant, however, since I departed in the spring of 2020.
For the past decade Millard South has been the fountain of wrestling talent in the state of Nebraska. On Feb. 18, the Patriots shattered multiple state records, and earned accolades for the most individual state champions (7), most accumulated team points at the state tournament (260.5) and won their eighth state championship in a nine-year period.
One of their seven state champion wrestlers, Logan Glynn, is a rising prospect in Nebraska. Only a sophomore, Glynn is one of two underclassmen at Millard South, and one of three underclassmen in the state to be crowned a state champion in 2023. Glynn’s road to this point hasn’t come without a few bumps in the road, but at the same time, his journey is just getting started.
“My older brother was in wrestling, and I remember always trying to go out on the mat during his meets,” Glynn said.
Glynn’s parents can remember Logan’s love for wrestling at a young age, too. He began wrestling when he was four years old.
“I don’t know what I expected when Logan was a young kid because at the time, I just wanted him to try new things,” Branden Glynn said, Logan’s father. “At one point Logan almost quit wrestling when he was in first grade. He changed his mind that offseason, stuck with it and had a great year. Ever since he has been in love with the sport.”
Logan’s freshman year didn’t go as planned. Two months prior to state, he suffered a broken wrist in a midseason tournament that prevented him from being at full strength.
“I was wrestling with a cast for two months while I tried to heal it,” Logan said. “I felt like my competitors knew I had this injury, and they were trying to attack it. My goal was to win state as a freshman. I wasn’t going to let something like this happen two years in a row.”
Logan stuck to his word and used the next 12 months to fuel his fire. His self-motivation allowed him to improve on and off the mat both as a wrestler and as a person. He said he has noticed the strides he has made to achieve the goals he’s always dreamed of, and so has his head coach, Nate Olsen.
“His confidence has grown more than anything else,” Olsen said. “Logan came into high school at a tough weight class which basically forced him to learn how to maneuver his body better because he was wrestling kids in a higher weight class his freshman year. I would encourage Logan to never be satisfied with what he’s done, and to always strive to improve no matter how successful of a match he’s had. He’s a gamer. He wants to compete at the highest level against the best competition. He wants to improve, and his goal is to be the best he can be.”
Logan was a runner up in the national preseason tournament in November. The confidence he gained with this performance helped catapult his regular and postseason. Confidence can be construed many ways. There’s confidence in yourself, confidence in your coaching, confidence in your talent and confidence in your preparation.
“My mindset and confidence are certainly the biggest factors I have improved upon,” Logan said. “Being on my feet more, improving my takedown moves and building strength has been a huge difference maker. I expected to perform as well as I did this year. I was never scared of the competition, I set out for this goal and wasn’t going to back down to anyone.”
The expectation to win was instilled in Logan as the season continued to take shape. This was his opportunity to make strides in his craft, both physically and mentally.
“He’s upped every aspect of his game,” Olsen said. “The thing that us coaches talked to him about this year was going out there and expecting to win.”
The confidence Logan possesses isn’t anything new according to his father. Talent can only do so much for an athlete. Passion and work ethic are part of the equation, too, but to be the best, you have to want to be the best.
“There was one day I didn’t want to take him to practice when he was a young kid and he told me, ‘Dad, if I don’t go to practice, I won’t learn anything new today,’” Branden said. “As he wanted to learn more he started winning more. Once you win once, you want to win always. That’s where he found his competitive drive.”
Logan said he has his sights set on competing in Division l wrestling when that time comes around. Because he’s a sophomore, however, college coaches have not been allowed to speak to Glynn about his future that lies ahead.
The position Glynn has put himself in is rarefied air. He said how he continues to grow as an athlete and as a person will determine the path, he sets himself on.
“Coach Olsen has made me realize I need to be a leader on the mat and off the mat,” Logan said. “I give all the credit to my coaches with the way I think, the way I wrestle, the confidence I have and the strengths I’ve built upon. Knowing I have people in my corner believing in me, it means a lot, and I look forward to proving those people right.”
Logan’s determination to compete at a high level starts with his accountability and work ethic behind the scenes. It’s what you do off the mat, that will translate to success or failure on the mat.
“I’ve tried to put Logan in the best possible situations to excel,” Branden said. “No words can explain how proud I am of the hard work he’s put in. Not everyone can see the behind the scenes of all the hard work that goes into this, whether that be the early mornings, the long nights, the meal preparations. It’s nice to see hard work pay off,” Branden said.
At Millard South, the focus is already on next year. Wrestlers like Logan have helped embody a rich tradition of excellence that few other programs in the country have been able to match. With Logan and a plethora of talent returning, his expectations will remain the same as the page flips to next year.
“I’m extremely proud of all my teammates for what we did as a group this entire season,” Logan said. “There’s a purpose to all the hard work we put in day after day, and to see us perform the way we did, breaking records and all, it’s extremely rewarding. I’m looking forward to what we can accomplish next year already. Our goals will stay the same. Why not break the record again.”
Breaking records and winning state champions have become the norm at Millard South. Faces may continuously change, but expectations have not. Logan and his fellow wrestlers have flipped the script to 2024 and will look to build upon their success to this point, with Millard South once again, at the top of the mountain.