It’s the opening drive for Louisa in their football home opener versus Courtland on Friday, Sept. 13. The team is trying to set the tone for the evening with an up-tempo, powerful running drive to start the game. Captain Deion Johnson takes a halfback toss down the left sideline for six yards before crashing out of bounds.
As Johnson heads back to the huddle for the next play, the ball from the previous play sits 10 yards out of bounds.
“I need a ball!” screams the referee.
Eleven-year-old ball boy, Logan Yancey, positioned right at the spot of the action, calmly tosses one of the three pigskins he is cradling to the referee. First and ten Louisa, the action goes on without a hitch.
“I’ve learned to stay behind the referee,” Yancey said with a laugh. “That’s the easiest to remember, and when he asks for the ball, you can just throw it to him.”
If you attend a home football game this season, give a quick glance to the sideline. Undoubtedly, you’ll see the exuberant Yancey running up and down the sidelines, constantly satisfying the referee’s desire for a clean and near-at-hand pigskin.
Throughout the game, they’ll throw a scuffed up football over to Yancey, who seems to always catch it, no matter how many footballs he may be holding at the time. Perhaps out of necessity, he has perfected the art of the one-handed grab.
Yancey first got the gig as a ball boy as a first grader working with Louisa County Middle School’s team. Maybe it was how he sat on the edge of the bleachers or the look in his eye, but coaches could see that he wanted to participate. Soon after, Yancey said he was on the field as a ball boy.
“I kept going for a couple weeks and helping,” Yancey said. “Basically, I just learned from them.”
As he got older, Yancey moved up to work with the junior varsity, and now has taken over the job for varsity games. While the job requires him to be alert at all times and is quite a bit of an aerobic workout as well, Yancey soaks up the atmosphere of the sidelines.
To read the entire story, see the Sept. 19 edition of The Central Virginian.