Brothers Ty and AJ Pugliano deliver a powerful punch to the Black Tornado
One is measured and the other is slightly below the cuff.
Ty and AJ Pugliano band together to provide impetus to the North Medford football team on either side of the ball.
“There is no doubting the impact of these two,” says Black Tornado coach Nathan Chen of the Bogliano Brothers. “From AJ’s perspective, he brings a lot of energy to everything and is very dynamic. Tae just has a backbone and dependability mentality. He’s that athlete who knows that if you have to put on a play, he’s going to do it. He’s shown it over and over again.”
It’s a relationship that works well between the two brothers, who nurture each other in different ways in order to get the best of themselves as well as the North Medford football team every time.
Ty is a 5-foot-10, 185-pound backyard and hybrid linebacker/safety who is enjoying his first season with the Black Tornado. He was one of the leading runners at the Southwest Conference a year ago and ran for 202 yards and three degrees in last week’s 35-14 win over West Salem. He now has 58 holders for 295 yards through three games.
“Aside from his pure skill, Tay kind of brings our team together and I think everyone on the team knows that,” says AJ. “It’s just a beacon for us there.”
At 6-4, 220 pounds, AJ is one of the best recruits in the state as a linebacker/finalist for the 2024 class. The rising star was one of the conference’s leading receivers as a freshman before injury interrupted his second season.
This year, AJ pulled 11 passes for 118 yards and two TDs — both came in last week’s win — and has continued to build on a résumé that includes performances from Oregon State, Oregon State, Washington State, Arizona and conversations with the likes of Ohio State, Clemson and a couple of Big 10 shows. .
Tay says, “AJ is clearly a great recruiter, but he is the best supporter and teammate and he is always more concerned about anyone else than himself, whether that’s the team or hiring everyone or how they do it. I feel it’s very humble of him to do That and he doesn’t worry about himself too much or talk about his enlistment or things like that.”
Beyond just physical stature, where the two brothers differ the most is the reliance on their voice.
17-year-old Ty relies more on leading by example, picking and choosing his moments to allow his voice to be heard so that his words have more weight.
“I wouldn’t say anything unless it’s positive or I feel like it’s really needed,” Tay says. “But when we need some power and vocal leadership, I’d say it definitely is.”
Anyone who’s ever been around a social AJ knows he’s as gossip and friendly as they come, and can get as teased as any 16-year-old competitor.
“I like to have fun there; that’s what I’m there for,” says AJ. “I’m there to give some energy and get happy and (Tae) likes to keep it cool and calm, so we’re like fire and ice. I’m there a little loud and he does the opposite, and he keeps things calm, so we complement each other really well.”
This innate complement on the field—knowing exactly where AJ will have to force the ball carrier so Ty can step in or how either one will attack in defense so the other can lend a hand—often turns off the field complementing the two brothers.
They understand better than anyone how hard others work and train in their big moments, and there is always that brotherly love when someone is able to achieve something in that field.
“We’re so, so close to being on both sides of the ball with him and celebrating with him is incredible,” says Ty, who has a 4.0-point average (weighted 4.3). “When he scored those touches last week, I was so happy with him. It’s nice to have someone you trust so much, and he’s doing a great job stopping him for me too.”
AJ adds to his older brother, “He’s the guy I can count on a lot because I know his habits and I know what he’s put into him, and his mindset will never falter. It just means a lot to being able to fully rely on him on the court and knowing that no matter what he’s going to be able to Make a play or at least do his best to play. Having that complete confidence in someone goes a long way, especially when it’s a key point like me stopping him or her from passing the ball to me for the ball. I know he won’t let me down.”
“Off the field he’s my best friend,” says AJ. “He has to lead me everywhere and he has to deal with me more than anyone else. But when we play on the field we complement each other well. He is one of the smartest players I know and our dynamic is not like brothers but we are best friends, I say, and it’s good That we have it.”
Ty’s football IQ is what AJ credits with much of his success, both locally and nationally.
“I’ve been to soccer camps up and down the West Coast and all the way to Florida, the settings I want before I go to camp, when I say, ‘Hey, what do I do?'” says AJ. Needing work to get ready to kick off this camp, “I want Ty Pugliano to guard me in the field and tell me what I can work on with my legs coming from a safe place. I want him to put pressure on me because he’s patient in his press.
“Then I go to the camps and say this guy may be more athletic than Tay or more naturally talented, but his basics are easier to differentiate. That’s what he’s about, Tay’s basics are better than anyone I’ve met, so when I go to these places, the preparations that Offered by Li Tai and no one else, they all appear.”
Both will get a chance to put all their abilities to the test again Friday night as the Black Tornadoes (1-2, 1-0 SCFC) host North Salem (3-0, 1-0) in their opening game at home a week later the clash had to be moved. The first with West Lane to Eugene.
Friday’s game starts at 7 pm at the Spiegelberg Stadium.
“It’s such a relief to finally be playing at home,” says Ty. “I feel like we found our energy last week and it will be even better now considering we’re at home. It’s only exciting because we had to delay it for three weeks, and that makes it so much better.”
While it could be better, it certainly wouldn’t be easier against a team North Salem that advanced to the state’s Class 5A quarterfinals a year ago and brings back some dynamic forces in its own right in quarterback TC Manumaleuna, running back Josiah Davis and sprinting champ DeMari. Thompson.
Helping North Salem in its first 3-0 start since 2002, Davis suffered an ankle injury and one of the state’s top riders may not be available on Friday.
“It was nice to be able to build that confidence in what we’re going to do this week, but we’re playing with a team that owns it as well,” says Chen. “They have some horses and some athletes in some key locations, so we really have to be able to rock ‘n’ roll come Friday night.” “.
Ty, in particular, sees the past week as a great springboard for himself.
After two weeks of what he saw as “hesitant” behind an attacking streak led by David Foijava and youngster Teryl Kim, it was a different feeling last week.
“Last year, it sort of worked, but I feel like I was too hesitant in class,” says Ty, who credits his men for everything he can accomplish. “Last week when we put it together I just decided I was going to get 3 or 4 yards before anything else and I think that really helped me be explosive through the line and also get through holes faster, and some of those runs turned into 10, 15 and 20 yards instead of 3 or 4.”
For AJ, last week was the first he really had the chance to shine. West Linn naturally bracketed their coverage around the star’s tight end, and Bend’s second-week loss was hampered when quarterback Kayden Lacey kicked off injury in the second quarter.
With Lacey back last week, plus AJ feeling as if his legs are under him after missing time this summer with a hamstring injury, it’s all back to where the Tornado knows it can be an offense.
“I’m glad I was able to pass the ball to the end zone a few times,” says AJ. “It definitely helped my confidence coming home and hopefully we can put in better numbers. West Salem was just the beginning of what we can both do, and what we can do as a team.”
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Andy Atkinson/The Mill Tribune, senior gunner Ty Bogliano lit up north Medford, left, and younger brother AJ Bogliano, Black Tornado, on either side of the football.
North Medford’s Ty Bogliano outperforms Sherwood’s defense by scoring points during the 2021 season.
Andy Atkinson/Mel Tribune North Medford player AJ Pugliano makes his way into the finish zone after catching up during the 2021 competition.