Nathan Broek | Sports Editor
For someone who lives in Sioux County, Iowa, giving back to others simply comes naturally.
That fact alone was the main reason Logan Dykstra of Hull was named by the Allstate Insurance Co. and American Football Coaches Association as one of 169 nominees for the 2018 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, one of the most prestigious awards in college football. The final results of the Good Works team will be announced in September.
“It’s a pretty great feeling, especially considering that my coach (Jon Anderson) went out of his way to collect some of this information from me and Dan (Genzler the sports information director at the University of Sioux Falls) took the time to write an article about me. It’s something that’s really special to me,” Dykstra said.
The Allstate AFCA Good Works Team is comprised of 11 players from the National Collegiate Athletic Association football bowl division which is the highest division in college football, the NCAA Football Championship subdivision which includes smaller Division I schools like Northern Iowa, NCAA Division II where the University of Sioux Falls (USF) ranks and Division III, National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics and one honorary head coach. To be in consideration by Allstate and the AFCA for nomination, each player must be involved in a non-profit organization or community service group while maintaining a strong academic standing.
Dykstra’s off-field service work at USF includes being a part of the university’s student-athlete community project. That service project involved cleaning the Bishop Dudley House in Sioux Falls, volunteering at the Evangelical Church, providing tours of football facilities and responding to questions from youth in Boeden Youth Center in Sioux Falls by participating in Cougar Kids Day.
“For myself, personally, I already kind of am from the area. You know that Sioux County area. There are a lot of really great people down there. With that, I think the charity works at USF are just a great opportunity to give back to other people and show that there is a lot of good that can come out of the game of football itself.,” Dykstra said. “It’s pretty cool to give back to some of those folks off the field as well.”
Other service work projects include packing meals for Kids Against Hunger, assisting at Christ the King’s Field Day and with the Sioux Falls O’Gorman High School power-lifting event. Dykstra said he enjoyed these charities the most.
“One of the greatest things we do here at USF is we have kids’ camps fairly frequently. That’s just really awesome to be able to deal with kids. For sports in general it’s just really fun to see them compete, but also down the road I’m going to be a high school history teacher,” Dykstra said.
As a secondary education major, Dykstra said he’d love to be on a high school coaching staff for football as well.
“It’s just an area I naturally gravitate toward just because I like dealing with the youth. Being a kid once I used to like those type of people who would come out and help me play sports with me, or do other activities and such,” Dykstra said. “I just thought that was so awesome when I was a kid growing up to do the same.
“Being a high school coach is definitely on the radar for myself,” Dykstra continued. “I’ve gotten so much out of this sport. Whether it’s friends, relationships or just the opportunity to compete. I’d love to be able to do that for future kids down the line.”
On the field for USF, Dykstra was named to the Northern Sun second team in 2017 after leading 20th-ranked USF to the NCAA Division II football playoffs for a third-consecutive season where the Cougars had a 9-3 record.
Overall in his three seasons at USF, Dykstra led the cougars to a 30-7 record, three playoff berths and an Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference title in 2016. During that season, Dykstra totaled 57 career tackles, including 26 solos in 30 games.
Last season, Dykstra was a key member of one of the nation’s top defenses, which ranked second in total defense at 244.3 yards per game, second in scoring defense at 12.5 points per game, third in rushing yards allowed with 158 and ninth in sacks per game with 40.
But what Dykstra remembers most about the past three seasons for the Cougars is the friendships he has made.
“I tell you what, the friendships I’ve made are just invaluable to me. Not only with my teammates, but with people on the coaching staff and the people on campus as well. There are a ton of memories that I have between all of those moments with that collective group of people. I think that is the most meaningful thing to me with the opportunity to play football at USF,” Dykstra said.
Dykstra is excited to get the opportunity to do it all over again for his final season as a Cougar.
“With being a senior, there is an expected role of leadership that I have to fall into. I’m more than welcome to take that on. But I just love going out and practicing with all my teammates, playing on Saturdays and traveling,” Dykstra said. “We do have high expectations for the season, but I’m just looking forward to how it all unfolds for us as we head into fall camp. Right on Sunday (Aug. 5) we are checking in and then we’re off to the races.”
Once the season is over, Dykstra said the ideal situation would be to find a teaching job near or around the Sioux Falls area.
“After graduation ideally if a job opportunity presents itself near Sioux Falls, I’d be more than welcome to taking it and then just going from there. At this point it’s really tentative,” Dykstra said.
Dykstra said he is happy to be nominated for a big award like this.
“You know I just can’t reiterate enough how thankful I am for the opportunity to be nominated for something like this. I know I’m not the only one on my team to be worthy of an honor such as this,” Dykstra said. “Like I said before, I’m proudest of the people around me. I’m surrounded by some really great people and I’m thankful for where I’m at.”