COLUMBIA — Hickman senior wrestler Michael Logan sees a wrestling match unfold much differently than his teammates.
He can see the crowd, but not the faces of the people cheering for him. Words on shirts are just unclear jumbles of text. He can see the score clock, but he can't read the score. Michael Logan has experienced blurry images like this his entire life.
His mother Nawassa Logan said she realized something was wrong just months after he was born.
"He was holding his bottle in front of him," Nawassa Logan remembers. "He had a glassy look. You could tell something just wasn't right."
When Michael Logan was just six months old, his parents took him to eye specialists for testing and learned Michael had optic nerve hypoplasia, a condition that is a result of the underdevelopment of the optic nerves in a person's eyes. Those who suffer from the condition are severely near-sighted.
The Logans were forced to deal with the harsh reality that Michael, even though he would not be completely blind, would be legally blind for the rest of his life.
"It was tough, really tough to swallow," Nawassa Logan said. "We were thinking, you know, how normal is this kid going to be?"
Michael Logan has a love of sports, and his parents attempted to get him involved, but because of his eyesight many sports proved to be too difficult. But when he was 12, his parents took him to a summer wrestling camp.
"It was one of my first years as head coach at Hickman, and I was running a summer camp," Kewpies coach J.D. Coffman said. "He couldn’t play baseball and football, when that ball is coming at him and things. After he was introduced to the sport, him and his family took it upon themselves to get into wrestling."
Michael Logan struggled initially, and when he began high school wrestling as a freshman, he still had a lot to learn.
"I didn’t start improving until I got to high school, and there was tougher competition," Michael Logan said.
But he improved. After a few years of weight training and a strong work ethic, Michael Logan is now one of the best wrestlers Hickman has to offer. After four tournaments so far this season, he has only lost three matches at 126 pounds. He faced a state-ranked opponent in each of his losses.
"Every time we came to the room to work out, Mike was always here, all summer long," Coffman said. "He pushed himself to the point where I think he is really dedicated to making it to state and placing in state."
It's safe to say Michael Logan has found his sports niche. He enjoys being with his teammates and the preparation that goes into the sport. Even though his eyesight prevents him from achieving things some people take for granted, such as getting a driver's license, he said he is fortunate to have what he does.
"It was a lot worse when I was born, I couldn’t see anything really, just light. It has progressed to where I am now, which is a little better. I like what I got."