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05.07 Home Sweet Home for Surge’s Bismark Osei


By Kimberly Dunbar

In high school, Bismark Osei plowed past his opponents under the lights at Worcester’s Foley Stadium as a running back for South High.  His agility, speed and elusiveness were envied by all, especially his inter-city rivals (including this writer’s alma mater). Now, thankfully, we’re all on the same team.   
Osei is tearing up the turf as a cornerback for Worcester’s newest sports team, the New England Surge.  In the midst of its inaugural season, the Surge is part of the Continental Indoor Football League (CIFL), a developmental league designed to deliver action-packed indoor football to cities that would otherwise not have a team. “This team adds more excitement to the city,” said Osei, who returns to his hometown of Worcester after attending college at Northeastern University in Boston.  
While at Northeastern, Osei played football and competed in track and field.  It was here where he made the permanent position switch from running back to cornerback.  “I played both positions in high school,” said Osei.  “At South it was more fun to play running back because I got to score a lot of touchdowns.  But in college, it was better to be a cornerback because I could play more minutes.”     
Osei is now adjusting to the differences in style between the CIFL and traditional football. In addition to acclimating to the feel of the playing surfaces, Osei is also getting used to the space changes. The CIFL field is 50 yards of turf in contrast to the 100 yards of grass on which Osei is used to playing.  “There is not a lot of space in indoor football,” said the cornerback.  “The games are higher scoring and it makes my job on defense a lot harder…almost impossible.” 
On the 50 yard spread, kickoff and punt returns can be returned all the way back to the 20 or 30 yard line, making it difficult for the defense to stop a player from entering the endzone.  But Osei is accepting the challenge with open arms.  “This is what makes the game so good,” he said.  “It is so hard to defend so you have no choice but to give 110%.” 

Osei added that the skills he picked up as a sprinter from his Track and Field days have come in handy.  “This is an explosive sport.  You have to have speed and be able to move fast,” he said.  He also promised that just like in high school and college when he had obstacles to face and new things to learn, he would overcome this one.  “In high school and my freshman year in college I had to adjust, but once I got it things were easier.  Once I get used to this, and I learn to cover players a certain way, I’ll be alright.” 
Osei said his favorite part about playing for the Surge is his teammates.  “We all get along and have fun,” he said.  One of those teammates is former Northeastern pal Tyler Grogan. Osei and Grogan, two years Osei’s senior and son of former New England Patriots quarterback Steve Grogan, played together for two seasons at NU.  “Tyler is very positive and is always trying to improve.  He sets himself apart from others and helps the people around him get better.”
While Grogan works hard to fill his role on the team, Osei does as well.  “My teammates would definitely describe me as wild and crazy,” said Osei after consulting with a few of his fellow Surge-mates.  Osei, who also describes himself as funny, upbeat and energetic, is even more electric when he’s in front of his hometown crowd. “It’s was a very exciting moment,” he said of the team’s home opener on April 14th.  “The best part about being back in Worcester is having the opportunity to be close to family and friends.”  And the chance to frequent some of his favorite hot spots, like Club Red and McFadden’s.  
Osei said that fans can expect to see him “…making a lot of plays on defense to help the team to succeed this season.”  Like the team name suggests, Osei will “surge” forward with a strong rush of enthusiasm and talent to push past his opponents, just like he has been doing since his days at Foley Stadium.  Good thing he’s on our team.  

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