By Ian C. Beck ’12, Tyler J. Scott ’12 & Erik Masingill ’12
The 2009 football season ended early for Brophy as the Broncos fell to the Mesa Jackrabbits 13-3 on Nov. 21, 2009 in the second round of the 5A-I State Tournament.
When the season came to a close, team leaders like Peter Kelly ’10, Max Leonesio ’10, Alex Garoutte ’10, Adan Nunez ’10, and Tommy Woodward ’10 had played their final game as a Bronco.
“We did lose many key seniors from last year’s team, but many young, talented players have stepped up to fill those spots,” said running back Kevin Molloy ’11 in an e-mail to Roundup reporters. “We are approaching this year the same way that Brophy football always has: we work hard, we play as a unit, and we never give up, which will lead to many wins down the road.”
Molloy will be the team’s starting running back this year after Leonesio’s graduation.
Offensive coordinator Mr. Bill Kalkman said that with Leonesio gone, the team’s strength offensively has become their quarterback in second-year starter Chase Knox ’12 and wide receivers like Josh Dennard ’11, Jordan Graves ’11 and Devon Allen ’13.
He said that the offense would place greater emphasis on passing and putting the ball in the hands of their receivers than in years past. He also said the youthful energy and maturation of the 10 sophomores playing on varsity this season would be key this year.
With many impact players gone, new players will be stepping up into leadership roles this season.
“What’s great about this year’s team is that I do not believe that there is a single individual on (this) team that cares about his own personal role and accomplishments,” Molloy said in an e-mail. “We each have a job to do, and when we all do our jobs then things really come together. We play as a team, and we win as a team.”
Head coach Mr. Scooter Molander said “it always needs to be a collective effort, we expect everyone to lead in every way possible,” but that there are some natural leaders on the team such as Dennard, linebacker Ethan Cooper ’11 and offensive lineman Kyle Veldman ’11.
Defensive lineman Danny Riggs ’11 said in an e-mail to Roundup reporters that while he, Dennard, and Cooper might be the leaders on defense, every player “is a leader in one way or another.”
Riggs also spoke of the importance of working as a whole unit to achieve their goals for the season.
“As a whole unit we will achieve greatness,” Riggs said. “We will work together on and off the field to accomplish our goals for the season.”
Fountain of Youth
Mr. Molander summed up the makeup of the team, touching on its youthfulness and its potential for greatness.
“We’re (going to) be young … there’s no getting around that and we have some very young, talented players,” Mr. Molander said of his team. “So if we can coach them up and if they can realize God gave them gifts and be not surprised by their success, we have a chance to do some pretty good things this year.”
He said some of the young players that had impressed him during summer workouts were wide receiver Allen, linebacker Robert Relf ’13 and Frederick Gammage ’12.
Allen shares in Mr. Molander’s optimism so long as they put in the necessary effort and listen to their coaches
“I think we can go all the way to the big show, the state championship game, we just have to work hard and do what our coaches have taught us and we will win games,” Allen said in an e-mail to Roundup reporters.
Mr. Molander stressed the importance of his players staying in the present while at the same time looking ahead to the bigger picture to see the next step and the next adjustments the team needed to make.
“What is your next task? You have an ultimate goal and that is to win a state championship,” Mr. Molander said. “It doesn’t happen if you don’t think about it but it won’t happen if you don’t be in the moment and see the short term as well. It’s a very fine line. Believing in the present and being in the present and realizing the long picture (that) we may need to make adjustments now to achieve an ultimate goal.”
Playing the Best to Be the Best
This season, the Broncos will have to maneuver through a difficult schedule that contains some of the state’s best football programs.
They will play Hamilton (Oct. 22) and Chandler (Sept. 23) on public television with both games on the road.
Brophy lost to Hamilton last season 24-21 but bested Chandler 27-26 on an overtime field goal that sent the Brophy crowd onto the field in excitement.
Brophy will also stage a rematch of last season’s 24-12 loss to Centennial but this time the game will be on their home turf on Sept. 17. That game will also be televised.
Despite their tough schedule, a recent high school football season preview by the Arizona Republic called the Broncos a dark horse to win the 5A Fiesta region.
Republic reporter Richard Obert wrote, “Coach Scooter Molander could have 10 sophomores but they’re very talented.”
2010 Varsity Schedule
Aug. 27: Brophy vs. Deer Valley
Sept. 3: Brophy vs. Gilbert
Sept. 10: Brophy at St. Mary’s
Sept. 17: Brophy vs. Centennial
Sept. 23: Brophy at Chandler
Oct. 1: Brophy vs. Red Mountain
Oct. 8: Bye Week
Oct. 15: Brophy at Mesa
Oct. 22: Brophy at Hamilton
Oct. 29: Brophy vs. Desert Vista
Nov. 4: Brophy at Yuma
“Brophy vs.” indicates a home game. “Brophy at” indicates an away game.