“I was really puffing when the final went to extra time. I wasn’t the fittest, but to score a penalty and win was pretty surreal,” Logan Wisnewski responds when asked to recall the National Secondary Schools First XI Football decider last year.
Hamilton Boys’ High School stunned reigning champions Sacred Heart College, Auckland, in a shootout. Wisnewski was an improbable hero. Several months early disaster had struck. Wisnewski broke his leg.
“It was May 18, the first competitive game of the season. We were leading 8-0 with ten minutes to go and I tried to win a 50/50 through ball and hopped away sore. I tried to play on, but it was really bad in the dressing room,” Wisnewski laments.
Consigned to a cast for 12 weeks, Wisnewski’s hopes of New Zealand Under-17 selection were dashed, but valuable character building occurred.
“The hardest thing being injured is watching the games. You can’t do anything to influence the results, but I tried to stay involved in other ways. I did some analysis and ran the water,” Wisnewski reflects.
Wisnewski didn’t start a single match at Nationals, but his contributions from the bench were pivotal in Hamilton’s success. His greater ability to observe has been acknowledged this season. Wisnewski has been appointed First XI skipper.
“I guess I have a lot of experience watching games. My brothers played in the First XI too so I guess I can relay convincingly what it means to play for Hamilton,” Wisnewski answers when addressing the question of what he brings to the leadership of the team.
Hamilton’s team is younger than the 2017 class, featuring only five returns. Wisnewski is adamant though Hamilton is in good shape.
“We’ve got Levi Clark and Harry Stocker back. Levi was our player of the year last year and Harry our top goal scorer,” Wisnewski explains.
“We’ve had a couple of camps and the boys are working hard and looking look,” he continued.
On Saturday May 5, Hamilton won the annual Referees Cup pre-season tournament held at St Peter's School, Cambridge (pictured right - photo credit HBHS website). The tournament involves eight different schools throughout the Waikato Region and Hamilton beat their second XI 4-0 in the final with Wisnewski scoring two goals. Hamilton’s seconds had upset the hosts in pool play.
The most significant pre-season result was a 0-0 draw with Sacred Heart College, the same score as the National final. Wisnewski warns Sacred Heart will be a strong team again.
In addition to football Wisnewski is accomplished on the Futsal court.
Discovering the sport at a holiday programme age of five, Wisnewski has represented New Zealand at an age group futsal level and guided the Hamilton senior team to a third placed finish at Nationals in Wellington in March.
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