Barnegat Leader

Barnegat Athletic Director and Son Share Thrill of Historic Championship

Mar 15, 2019
Courtesy of: John Germano FOR TROPHY CASE: Barnegat High School Athletic Director John Germano gets a selfie with his son, Logan, after the boys swim team captured the NJSIAA South Jersey Group C championship on Feb. 14.

Logan Germano knows he wasn’t the best swimmer on the Barnegat High School boys swim team this winter. In fact, he wasn’t even among the team’s top five. Nonetheless, everybody is important on a swim team, and the junior freestyler is no different. It takes a complete team to score 100 points in a meet, after all, and the Bengals did so in 10 of their 11 victories, including the biggest win in school history: a 106-64 triumph over Cedar Creek to capture the school’s first-ever NJSIAA sectional title.

“It was spectacular, from both a father’s perspective and an athletic director’s perspective,” said John Germano, Logan’s father and the man who oversees the athletics operations within the district. “It was awesome. They worked so hard for so long to win that title, and for my son to be a part of it was incredible.”

For the past 15 years, Germano has guided the athletics department at the high school – through the early years of some otherwise miserable seasons for the school teams, to some close calls with sectional championship glory, including last season’s run by the boys swim team, which ended with a loss to Oakcrest in the South Group C final.

Soome other misses in sectional finals occurred with the football, girls tennis, baseball and girls volleyball programs. While Germano has always been proud of the success of some teams and the efforts of others, the past two winters for the swim team have been particularly special because his son has been a viable part of the action.

“Logan’s had his role on the team, and he’s done his job,” he said. “With swimming, those third-, fourth- and fifth-place guys gobble up points that add up. The big guys do the heavy lifting, and the rest of them make their contributions in a more subtle but important way. Those role guys are critical, and they’re the glue of a team in any sport.”

Logan, who also runs cross-country and track, took up swimming as a freshman. He consistently placed third or fourth in several freestyle events, but most importantly in the grueling 500-yard freestyle – not among the favorite events for many swimmers.

“We lost Colby Pearson to an injury, and it was important to fill his shoes when he went down,” Logan said. “We needed points in every meet, but that was a special role to fill, and I was glad to be able to help in that way.”

In the sectional final, Logan placed fourth in the 500 free, and it was a moment right in the middle of the meet that helped the Bengals surge ahead for good. Of course, the impact wasn’t lost on him.

“I was head over heels that I took fourth in a sectional final,” he said. “After I touched the wall and looked up at that scoreboard, realizing I just scored points in the state final, that was a feeling I’ll never forget. It was a proud moment.”

Obviously, dad – who as athletic director had a privileged spot on the pool deck with the swimmers, rather than with other parents in the bleachers – was equally ecstatic, knowing his son had just helped put his team in a position to clinch the title.

“You never want to see a kid out with an injury,” John said. “But when it happens and the opportunity arises, the team needs other kids to rise up. And Logan has done that. So, yeah … I was proud. And the special part was that I was able to experience the whole thing with the coaches at poolside. I got to take the ride with them, from almost the same perspective. It was beautiful.”

Coaches Emily Cherry and Rebecca Kane have been a viable force together as they’ve continued to build a championship program. On Feb. 14 they finally were able to say they were the dynamic duo who coached a team to the school’s first state section crown. The elder Germano believes it will do wonders not only for their program, but for the athletic department as a whole.

“To be an athletic director who helped open a school, and be there to witness that first title, was amazing,” Germano said. “But this is going to springboard our swimming program and, hopefully, inspire others in the school to make the commitment it takes to become a championship program. The question is: who’s next?”

But that’s a story for another day. For now, father and son can enjoy the historic moments of this winter season for a while.

“My dad and I do a lot of things together, but we haven’t experienced something as important as this,” Logan said. “This whole season was like a storybook. It’s something you can make a movie about; it was that special.”

— David Biggy

biggy@thesandpaper.net

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