By Chase Bayless ’15
As the Brophy Broncos 2013 football team begins the new season they will face the challenge of replacing almost all of its starters from last year’s teams, as well as going up against some of the best teams in state on a weekly basis.
“All the new guys are stepping up, we had a lot of gaps to fill with all the starters,” said quarterback Brian Woodward ’14. “Guys are coming in showing great energy and everyone is competing.”
The 2012 season ended with a shutout loss to Mountain Pointe in the state semifinals.
This year the Broncos will have an almost entirely new team when they take the field for their first game this Friday, Aug. 30 at home against Desert Mountain.
Brophy’s 2013 schedule is the seventh toughest in the nation, according to Maxpreps.com.
The team will be led by captains: Brian Woodward ’14, Will Edwards ’14, A.T. Hall ’14, Leonard Gutierrez ’14 and Dylan Taylor ’14.
“All of those guys have done a great job working hard and ensuring others are doing the same,” said head coach Mr. Scooter Molander, referring to his captains.
Hall, who is committed to play football at Stanford, was named to MaxPreps 2013 Arizona Preseason All-State team.
The team has also added multiple new position coaches, including new offensive coordinator Mr. Mike Gibbons, who is the former McLintock High School head coach and Notre Dame Prep offensive coordinator.
“He does a great job communicating with the players and coaches.” Woodward said of Gibbons.
Mr. Molander also spoke highly of the new coach, saying he had a great offensive mind and brings a lot of energy and passion.
The players have put in work during the offseason attending football camps at ASU and NAU, as well as hosting a few of their own on campus.
“Our guys are doing a very good job of challenging one another in a positive way,” Mr. Molander said. “I like the work ethic of this team.”
The team had a surprise visitor in early August: Vince Papale, the inspiration of the movie “Invincible,” stopped by to talk to the players. Papale went from a 30-year-old high school teacher to Philadelphia Eagles special teams star after impressing in an open tryout in 1976.
“He was able to come and give a great message to the team,” Woodward said. “I feel like this team can relate to that underdog mentality he had.”
This team will be known as underdogs having lost so many players and with that tough schedule, but Woodward said he thinks they could surprise some people.
“We’re just going to go out and compete every week,” Woodward said.