Week 6: Joel Barlow (2-1) at Sheehan (3-1), 7 p.m.
WALLINGFORD – After a full week of preparing for his opponents, the game was only minutes away.
As the scoreboard clock raced toward zero and both teams were finishing warm-ups, the first whistle was on every player’s mind – except one.
Yes, Sheehan’s Terrance Bogan was ready to face off against Fairfield Prep, but before kickoff he had to do one more thing:
For the first time in his career, Bogan was going to sing the National Anthem before a game he was going to play in. Last year, Bogan sang before the Bassick game, but did not play due to an injury.
“I’m not sure what he is the best at,” Sheehan coach John Ferrazzi said. “I’ve heard him sing the National Anthem a few times now and perform in the school plays. He’s tremendous. He’s a very talented kid, very multifaceted, he can do a lot of things.”
What is he the best at?
He has an impressive resume.
As a sophomore, Bogan rushed for 1,049 yards and 14 touchdowns while leading the Titans to a 9-2 record last season and a spot in the Class M playoffs.
This season, the Titans are 3-1 and Bogan has already rushed for 918 yards and 11 touchdowns. Against Fairfield Prep he rushed for 114 yards and a touchdown. He has the Titans in place to reach the Class M playoffs once again.
“Obviously he has tremendous speed,” Ferrazzi said. “He put some good work in during the offseason program. He had a tremendous summer.”
On the stage, he was Lumiere in the ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ last year. He was nominated for a HALO Award – the high school musical theater awards in Connecticut – in Best Performance by a Couple of Dynamic Duo with castmate Johanna Croston.
“I always get the funny role,” Bogan said. “He’s definitely funny, crazy. He’s kind of a flirt. So that was fun.”
Last spring, he was Conrad Birdie in the play ‘Bye, Bye, Birdie,’ which was more serious and a different role than Bogan had played.
“It was a weird one, but it was fun and it was a new experience,” Bogan said. “It was definitely one of my favorite roles. It taught me different ways of acting.”
Bogan has been encouraged to sing by his parents since he was young.
“My parents always told me that I could sing when I was very little,” he said.
In eighth grade, Bogan decided to join the school musical.
“Usually middle school boys, when their voice is changing, they usually don’t like to sing,” Bogan said. “In eighth grade, I did the musical and people told me that I was good and I just rode with that.”
He played Sebastian in ‘The Little Mermaid’.
“Probably, ‘Kiss the Girl’ and ‘Poor Unfortunate Souls,’ the one that Ursula sings,” Bogan said of his favorite songs from his role as Sebastian.
Bogan is always busy, in the weight room, at rehearsal or on the track. He is the defending Class M outdoor 100 meter champion.
“He does a really good job of managing his time throughout the year,” Ferrazzi said. “He makes his meetings before our practices start, if he has those other things going on.”
His work ethic has impressed his teammates.
“Throughout the winter he is balancing performing in the play, practicing in the play, coming to lifts, getting lifts in, getting extra workouts in,” Sheehan senior quarterback Wes Terzi said. “He is probably the most well-rounded kid that I know, that I have seen in a long time. His ability to sing, he’s a smart kid, he’s a good kid and he’s a tremendous athlete. He has a bright future ahead.”
Though Bogan admits, sometimes it’s not as easy as he makes it look.
“Some nights you get home and you just want to sleep and you don’t want to do anything,” Bogan said. “But you know you have to, you know you have to work hard. Especially me, I know I want to play at the next level, so I know I need to work harder.”
With the rest of the season still ahead of him, Bogan is focused on the gridiron, but in the spring he is eyeing another role.
“The next musical is Cinderella. So I am going for the Prince,” Bogan said. “So, hopefully, I get that, that’s a big dream role for me.”
Marked on the calendar
It was almost a year ago, 319 days to be exact on Friday, when Joel Barlow beat Sheehan 47-34, eliminating the Titans from the postseason.
Since that night in November and the day when the new schedules were released, this Friday’s rematch was circled on the calendar.
“Something we took out of that game was 47-34,” Terzi said. “Obviously, we lost and we took that with us through winter training, spring training, summer training. We used it as motivation for this coming season.”
You bet the Titans are motivated said Ferrazzi.
“I think the motivation speaks for itself, considering that this team felt that loss last year,” he said. “All the players that were a part of that game – with the exception of the seniors and there weren’t many of them – are back. If that can’t motivate us than I don’t know what can.”
There are a couple of differences since the last meeting.
Barlow has graduated quarterback Trevor Furrer and running back Alex Stillman, both All-State selections.
The Titans have all but three starters back from last year’s team.
Time also could be on the Titans’ side.
Sheehan beat Lyman Hall on Nov. 23 and then had to prepare to play Barlow and its triple option offense by Nov. 28.
“Preparing for a veteran team that runs the triple option in four days is a daunting task,” Ferrazzi said after the game last year. “I think we had a good plan. To catch up to the speed and efficiency of (Barlow) versus doing it against the scout team is tough. They do a tremendous job.”
This time around, the Titans have had a lot of time. They were on a bye last week.
“Certainly, getting a bye week after we played Prep, the extra week to prepare for them means a lot concerning their offense,” Ferrazzi said. “I think they are equally as good on defense, as well.”