A tennis tournament in memory of the late coach Robert Logan scheduled for Saturday

The Robert Logan Tennis Invitational can be an emotional time for some, including coaches.

The tournament is named after Logan, a former Marquette Catholic High player and Alton High coach, who died at age 30 of a rare form of liver cancer in 2016. Previously known as the Riverbend Tournament, the name has was changed five years ago in memory of Logan.

This year’s tournament begins at 8:30 a.m. Saturday at Lewis and Clark Community College, Alton High School, Simpson Tennis Center at Gordon Moore Park and Civic Memorial High School.

Alton High’s Jesse Macias, Redbirds coach and organizer of Saturday’s 11-team tournament, has special memories of Logan.

“I remember him as a disciplined player who frustrated opponents,” Macias said. “We didn’t do well against Robert when he played No.1 for Marquette. He brought the same attitude to training.

Logan and Macias were lifelong friends. Logan had been an assistant under Macias with the AHS men’s tennis team, then took over when Macias stepped down. Later, when Logan was unable or unavailable to coach, Macias replaced him.

Despite being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at age 16, Logan continued to play tennis and golf at Marquette and played tennis at LCCC.

“Robert asked the players for two things: attitude and effort,” Macias said. “We still try to emphasize that today because those are such good life lessons.

“Things won’t always go your way, but you can get through it with the right attitude. I coached Robert for his last three years in high school.

On the tennis courts at Alton High, Logan was honored with a placard and biography

Logan graduated from Marquette in 2005, but while there he qualified for the IHSA State Golf Tournament three times and the State Tennis Tournament twice.

“Robert was the heart and soul of Alton tennis and he left a lasting impact on so many in our community,” Macias said. “Along with his family and friends, we can’t wait to pay tribute to him on Saturday. Many coaches at this tournament have faced Robert and have fond memories of him, so Saturday should be a great day to celebrate his life.

The 11-team field for this year’s Logan Invite includes Marquette Catholic, Civic Memorial, Collinsville, Effingham St. Anthony, Granite City, Lafayette, Triad, Highland, Springfield and Cor Jesu Academy, as well as host Alton Redbirds.

Macias said defending tournament champion Triad looks like the go-to favorite, but the overall field could be tough.

“Triad are the defending champion and they’re probably the team to beat,” Macais said, “but Effingham St. Anthony is really good and Lafayette has the defending singles champion and they’re deep.

“Springfield, Cor Jesu and Highland also have good players and I also think we will be competitive. There are no more COVID restrictions so we have a full court and it should be a fantastic day of tennis.”

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