Garrett Rogan said that last football season was a weird one.
Due to COVID-19, teams began their campaigns in March and played just four games, with Mercer Island High School (MIHS) compiling a 2-2 record. Senior Rogan and his teammates are glad to return to a normal schedule this fall and will kick off their season with a home nonleague game against Auburn Riverside at 7 p.m. on Sept. 3. The Islanders will follow up on the opener with another nonleaguer at Highline at 6 p.m. on Sept. 9.
“It’s going to be really exciting to actually play more than double the amount of games last year,” said Rogan, a second-year varsity guy who plays wide receiver and defensive back. “Our senior class is really excited. We have some good underclassmen, too, and we’ve been training a lot this offseason together.”
Rogan — who has played in the Islander football program for four years — switched from spring baseball to track and field last year and competed in the 100-meter dash, 4×400-meter relay, triple jump and high jump.
“Running track helps a lot in the offseason to help myself and some of my other teammates in football get ready for the football season. As long as I stay up with schoolwork, everything is very beneficial,” said Rogan, who added that he enjoys getting doses of running and jumping while participating in the triple jump.
On the school front, Rogan carries a 3.6 grade-point average and is drawn toward the computer science field like his family members. Rogan is up for the challenge of taking AP computer science, AP calculus and some other tough classes this fall.
He’d like to follow in his dad’s footsteps and play college football along with majoring in either computer science or computer engineering.
The Reporter asked Rogan a series of questions to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into his life:
What’s the best piece of advice that you’ve ever been given?
Just to respect everybody. No matter who they are, just treat everybody equally.
If you could go to dinner with one person, who would that be?
Lamar Jackson, ‘cause he’s my favorite athlete and has a great personality.
What’s your favorite movie of all time?
“Inception” with Leonardo DiCaprio.
How do you spend your spare time?
I like to hang out with my friends. We do a lot of outdoor activities, we’ll go swimming sometimes. Maybe we’ll play Xbox or maybe play pick-up basketball — because a lot of my friends play basketball — or football.
What superpower would you like to have?
I’d always wanna learn how to fly.
What’s a hidden talent of yours that maybe people wouldn’t know about?
Back when I was in like fifth or sixth grade, I learned how to solve the Rubik’s Cube and I started to try and outdo other ones, and I sort of became obsessed with it. I can just pick it up every now and then and solve it for fun.
The Reporter also fired off a few questions to fifth-year MIHS head football coach Ed Slezinger as the Islanders prepared to start their season.
What’s your outlook on the squad this season?
Team discipline in executing our plan, trusting in one another and the coaching staff, striving to be the best in their individual positions and challenging one another in competition will drive us to be the best team MIHS has had in years.
What’s your coaching philosophy?
Desire, discipline and determination will drive all the successes in your life. Football is a mirror image of life. Be it on the field, school, work and family life, you should have goals, be disciplined to put in the work to achieve those goals, and be and remain determined to achieve your goals with an expectation to exceed and set new goals.
What will it take for MIHS to succeed this season?
MIHS has plenty of talent on campus as has been proven by the success of baseball, basketball, wrestling and lacrosse. These are many of the athletes that make up the football program. They know what it is to win and win state championships, they know what it takes to get there, and they are mentally and physically tough enough to get there. It will take the independent strengths to work as one unit to pull it all together to get there.