Sports

Lacrosse, crew, other newer teams growing in popularity, success

By Josh Galvin ’13
THE ROUNDUP

Since its early years, Brophy players and coaches alike have taken pride in their sports department.

In fact, athletics play such a large role in the community that many consider them synonymous with Brophy.

Basketball endures as a sport that has garnered the support of the community as a whole. Varsity head coach Mr. Tony Fuller recalled his predecessors, including coach Mr. Mark Granger and coach Mr. John Chambers, as well as the progress he has seen in his five years of coaching.

“All of my teams here have been hard-working, I think now our team has gotten better,” Mr. Fuller said. “Each year we’ve improved our number of wins and how far we’ve gone … we’ve attributed (success) to the fact that the players have gotten better and more comfortable with what we’ve asked them to do.”

Mr. Fuller also agreed that the Brophy basketball team, like many other teams, is more like a family than a team, “imparting their knowledge onto younger players” yet still learning from one another.

Although some Brophy teams date back more than 50 years, new teams continue to form with a large response from young athletes.

The lacrosse club team exemplifies the successful integration of a “newer” sport into campus life.

Since the lacrosse season started in the beginning of the calendar year, sticks, helmets and other equipment have invaded the school grounds. The program is going on its eleventh season, with head coach Mr. Beau Pich leading the team since 2009.

“Lacrosse is fairly new and I think students are curious to see what it has to offer,” Mr. Pich wrote. “It combines athleticism (with) different skills, and it has some contact, which makes it fun and exciting for the players.”

Mr. Pich also cited the game’s intensity as a key factor for drawing in its large fan base.

“We get a ton of support from the school and the student body, which I believe has been part of the reason why we have been successful … it’s also a very fast paced game with a lot of action, so it’s a great game to watch,” he said in an e-mail.

The lacrosse team earned state titles in 2007, 2008 and 2010.

Another “fledgling” sport with – until this year – very little involvement on campus is crew. Despite competing in Texas, California and Massachusetts, little regard was given to the sport.

“The biggest problem with growing the rowing program at Brophy in the past was we were almost a completely invisible program on campus,” said Mr. Ryan Krch in an e-mail. “In the past, we trained almost exclusively on the lake … shifting to the Brophy campus for several of these workouts finally gave the team some presence.”

This has resulted in a boost in student interest as well as heightened awareness of the crew program becoming a daily part of campus life.

Although the team entered their fifth season last fall, this year marks the Brophy program’s first standalone competition as an independent team, according to Mr. Krch. The team was previously sponsored by the Rio Solado Rowing Club.

The crew team became the Arizona Junior Rowing Champions after competing at the Desert Sprints Regatta March 5. Mr. Krch anticipated even more “explosive” response from athletes next season.