ITHACA, MI. (WLNS) – For the better part of a decade, the Ithaca football program turned into a powerhouse in Michigan. The Yellowjackets won five state titles (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015) and went on a 69-game winning streak all under Terry Hessbrook.
Logan Hessbrook, the nephew of Terry, graduated from Ithaca in 2014 and was a part of three state titles and never lost a football game in high school. The standout wide receiver for the Yellowjackets then went on to play at Saginaw Valley State University.
Which is when things changed.
SVSU went 2-9 in Hessbrook’s first season with the team. He also broke his collarbone in the team’s sixth game. During his rehab to get back on the field, Hessbrook decided it was best for him to transfer to Central Michigan as a walk-on wide receiver.
“That’s where the mental health and awareness I had really started to develop,” Hessbrook said. “I went from being a quote-unquote big man on campus – like playing a true freshman – to you’re a walk-on and no one knows you.”
Hessbrook made the move from playing wide receiver to tight end and became a starter for the Chippewas, but that still didn’t change his battles off the field.
Anytime I would come home or talk I’d have with the community member in Mount Pleasant, it was always ‘How’s football going?,’ it was never ‘How’s Logan doing?'”
Since his playing days at CMU, Hessbrook has become the wide receivers coach at Ithaca for his brother Jordan, who took over for Terry in 2021. Logan is now making sure to share his experiences with those that used to look up to him when he was winning state titles in high school.
“These kids were 7 or 8 years old when I was going through high school and then knew about this winning streak,” Logan said. “That’s something I don’t want to be known for anymore, you know, that was a long time ago. I just want to be there for these kids through anything. Whether they need a talk at one in the morning, a talk at two in the morning, I want to be there for them.”
Logan has also been active on social media to share that it’s normal to experience a mental illness.