CALEDONIA — In front of her parents, other members of her family, her teammates, her boyfriend and her friends, Caledonia High School senior Sunny Logan made it official: she was committing to the program of nursing from William Carey University.
Oh, yeah, and she’s also going to play tennis there.
That might not exactly be the reason for a signing period, but Logan wants to be a nurse first and foremost, and she’s limited her serious choices to schools with nursing programs. and tennis teams.
“I watched Jones, Southern Miss, Mississippi College,” Logan said. “Ultimately what I want to do in the end is be a nurse, and those schools all had nurses. William Carey was the best option for me.
“Mississippi only has five nursing programs in which you can get a BS,” added Father Colby Logan. “Sunny wants to be a nurse, and getting a bachelor’s degree in nursing has really limited her choices.”
The limited choices didn’t mean there weren’t good choices, and Sunny Logan is very happy with hers.
“He has one of the best programs in nursing,” she said of William Carey. “Also, they have a really nice facility and the coaches are amazing. I absolutely loved what they have to offer.
An NAIA school in Hattiesburg that has enrolled a record 5,362 students for the fall term, William Carey competes in the Southern States Athletic Conference, which includes schools from Louisiana, Alabama and Georgia in addition to Mississippi. The Crusaders offer nine women’s sports, seven men’s sports and mixed archery.
Logan said she thought about playing college tennis for most of her life, returning to the sport when she was 5 years old.
“I fell in love as soon as I started,” said Logan, who said his best attribute on the court was his forehand. “I liked the fact that it was an individual sport. Everything I’ve done depends only on me.
“It was a game where you constantly have new challenges. You can always improve something or get better at something.
The one thing Logan can’t improve on is his record. As a junior, she didn’t lose a game all season, winning every game 6-0, 6-0. It was the only way to improve on what she had done before, which was winning every game of her high school career.
But there is a fourth MHSAA Class 4A State Championship up for grabs. Sunny has three — the 2020 tournament was lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic — and can match brother Hunter’s four golf titles with another this spring. His brother is a junior on the Mississippi State golf team.
Hunter also played tennis at Caledonia, and in his senior year of 2019 he was the No. 2 seed in the boys’ singles tournament while Sunny was the No. 1 seed in the girls. It’s a familiar role for her, even though she was “only” the No. 3 seed when she won her first title in eighth grade.
Logan’s dominance has been so complete that she admits to being bored on occasion when she takes to the field for a high school game.
“Sometimes,” she laughs. “I try to approach every game with a challenge or a new goal to work on during that game.”
His toughest challenge came at a young age. Logan was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma at age 10 and spent a year at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.
“Sunny was very lucky to win the game of her life beating cancer when she was young,” Colby Logan said. “She is a very strong and courageous young woman.”
For on-court challenges, Logan has traveled throughout the Southeast to compete in USTA events. Colby Logan said they traveled to Jackson, Birmingham and Nashville, among other places, to compete, and in January Sunny Logan was ranked No. 13 in Mississippi by the United States Tennis Association.
William Carey knows the rankings. The Crusaders were ranked in the NAIA Top 10 last year and competed in national championships, receiving an overall offer after reaching the Southern States Athletic Conference championship.
The Crusaders field an international roster, with three players from Germany, two from Spain and others from France, Thailand, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.
And now Steens, Mississippi.