By Kenton Brooks
Phoenix Sports Writer
Not many high school football coaches can say what Heritage Hall’s Andy Bogert can.
He can proudly claim that he coached a current National Football League player and that he also coaches the son of a Heisman Trophy winner and NFL Hall of Fame inductee.
Bogert leads the Chargers, 12-0 for the season, against the Sequoyah Indians (11-1) in the Class 2A state quarterfinal playoffs at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Sequoyah’s Thompson Field.
Bogert and Heritage Hall have quite a history when they show up in Tahlequah.
Wes Welker, a wide receiver for the New England Patriots, graduated from the Oklahoma City school. Bogert was in his first season as offensive coordinator at the school when Welker was a sophomore.
“We’re all so proud of Wes. We watch him play every chance we get,” Bogert, in his fourth season as head coach, said. “He almost didn’t get that scholarship to Texas Tech. He got the last one available because somebody turned down theirs.
“It’s fun watching him now and seeing how he’s respected. He’s done a lot on his own. Wes just knows the game of football.”
Bogert also finds out each day how much his freshman running back Barry Sanders knows about football. He’s the son of the former Oklahoma State and Detroit Lions standout running back Barry Sanders. The elder Sanders, a Heisman Trophy winner in 1988, was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 2004.
The younger Sanders, playing tailback, has 525 yards rushing on 68 carries and eight touchdowns. He also has four catches for 29 yards.
“He doesn’t go by junior,” Bogert said. “We’ve been to a couple places where little kids have stood outside the locker room waiting to get his autograph. He’s getting better and better in every game and he’s still 14 years old.”
Bogert — and Sequoyah coach Brent Scott — said the elder Sanders should be at Friday’s game.
“He lives in Detroit and he makes sure he’s at every game. They’re pretty close,” Bogert said.
If he shows up, it will be a reunion for Scott.
“When I took a recruiting trip to Oklahoma State, he took me around the school a couple of times when he was a junior,” Scott said. “He’s a quiet, soft-spoken guy. I’ve already talked to him. He’s going to be at the game.”
This year’s Heritage Hall Chargers are easy for Bogert to brag about. Ranked No. 2 in the Associated Press poll all season, the Chargers won the District 2A-1 championship, scored 498 points this season and have given up just 73. The 24 points Bridge Creek scored last week was only the second time a team has scored more than a touchdown on Heritage Hall this season. Weatherford scored 19 in week two.
The winner of Friday’s game meets the winner of Saturday’s game between Sulphur and Lexington in the state semifinals next week at date, time and site to be determined.
By Kenton Brooks