RIO RANCHO – Last year, the “Big C” in Cleveland High School football player Marshall Logan’s life was “championship.”

This season, the junior center has a new “Big C:” Cancer.

With the time-tested Cleveland Storm community, “We Are Marshall” takes on new connotation. The football team has added incentive: “Play for 65” and capturing another 6A crown for their fans and fallen player.

“Marshall is a fantastic kid,” head football coach Robert Garza said. “He works hard every day and does everything the right way. He has been known as a great teammate, — all of the kids really like him — and he seems to be friends with everyone and not just a small group. He is a very courageous and strong individual.”

What had initially been thought to be soreness in a shoulder turned out, after Marshall had increasing difficulty dealing with the pain, to be sarcoma. Upon hearing the the disturbing prognosis, Garza recalled, “When I first talked to him about it, I couldn’t believe how poised and calm he was about the news he had just found out

“His work ethic is top-notch; he is not one to just miss whether it is in-season or off-season. He has been starting on our JV all year and has been a varsity floater as well.”

Marshall does more than snap the pigskin to a quarterback; he’s also a Storm wrestler.

“He is a great young man,” says CHS wrestling coach Evan Copeland. “He has a cool, calm demeanor, works hard and is a great teammate. He wrestled a lot of varsity matches last year and placed at a few varsity tournaments.

“He has a ton of support behind him in his upcoming battle and the Cleveland Storm family will be here for him every step of the way. “

There’s no doubt about that. Those other “Big C’s,” Cleveland and Community, will be behind Marshall all the way, even through yet another “Big C: Chemotherapy.”

Vanessa Logan, Marshall’s mother, was close to tears as she described her son’s ordeal to the Observer, noting she, too, had battled thyroid cancer in 2018 and because she was undergoing radiation, she missed taking a trip to Las Vegas, Nevada, to see Marshall and his YAFL team play in a national tournament.

“I had to go through my hardships so I could be strong for him,” she said, tearing up. “I think, if I hadn’t had something so difficult happen to me, I don’t know how I would begin to feel right now. I feel I am stronger …

“He’s been always, like, a really good kid,” she said. “He’s played (Young America Football League) since he was 7.”

His first YAFL seasons, he played with a Cibola team; the Logans headed up the hill to Rio Rancho in 2018, where he became a Storm, then with the Cleveland YAFL squad.

“He also works; he has a full load,” Vanessa said. “He works for the Rio Rancho Events Center, with a company that helps clean up after events. So, he has school, he works, he’s an athlete. He’s even had jobs where he volunteered to chauffeur (a disabled youngster).”

Sarcoma has curtailed those activities.

“He’s been complaining since the beginning of June, like when summer workouts began,” she said, “that his shoulder was bothering him.

“He thought that he had kinked it … from that stance (on the O line), maybe messed up his rotator cuff,” she added. “He was able to manage it, and keep practicing and playing, but he would always talk about how it was irritating him. It wasn’t until about two weeks ago he couldn’t handle the pain anymore, and we took him to urgent care.”

There, the family heard, “There’s nothing I can do for you here,” the doctor told them. “You actually need to go to the emergency room, because what we’re seeing is more than an injury to your arm. You actually need to be seen right away.

“It was literally the domino effect after that, being taken from one area to the next so quickly and then finally coming in and saying they have a suspicion it’s a sarcoma. So he had to be admitted; we spent a whole week at Pres, having tests,” Vanessa said.

The sarcoma, she said, “is kind of growing between the shoulder blade and muscle, in that area. So when you looked at him, his shoulders don’t look even. So, they’re going to be doing chemotherapy.

“The community and everybody have stepped up,” Vanessa noted, to the extent of providing food through a meal train.

The removal of the tumor in his shoulder, she said, will take place at the Colorado Children’s Hospital.

Marshall will be keeping up with his schoolwork through an in-house teacher.

“That’s the goal — to graduate in ’25 with his schoolmates and stuff,” Vanessa said.

“This is just a bump. I know high school should be the best years of your life, and it is; it’s just on pause right now. You’re going to get back there,” she said, thinking of Logan.

Brother Troy, a CHS sophomore, plays on the Storm’s Blue JV team.