Photo by Michael Placenti ’19 – The cross country team practices at the Brophy Sports Complex, Sept. 23. The varsity team this year is comprised of only juniors and sophomores.
By Jose Cardenas ’16 THE ROUNDUP Brophy’s cross country team begins a new season looking to make advancements in the competition with a new, young varsity team. Mr. Mike Keahon ’73, head cross country coach, first started practice in July and has plenty in mind for both long-time runners and newcomers. “The goal of this cross country season is to have as many athletes out here as possible, to compete with our competition around the state, and to get in the top three of the state of Arizona,” Mr. Keahon said. Mr. Keahon also said that each practice has made him more confident in the team’s ability. “Our practice shows that they are in good shape and they’re getting in better shape,” he said. Mr. Keahon is not alone this season because he has assembled a staff of coaches to lead the team. All of them work individually with each runner to maximize their potential, offering both support and fun competition. This coaching staff includes running veterans Mr. Andy Schmidbauer ’88 and Mr. Steve Smith ’96, along with newcomers Mr. Oscar Balboa and Mrs. Karen Parise, the team’s first female coach. “All of us did a lot of training and we have a solid group of guys that are ready to run this season, said Drew Burns ’18. The group he refers to is made up of Burns, Luke Mason ’17, Jared Davidson ’17, Grant Smith ’18, and Hociel Landa ’17. There are no seniors on this top varsity team leaving a group of underclassmen to compete in future meets. However, Burns said he and his team have learned to work together and plan on using their knowledge to win meets. “Our biggest focus is to work as a team,” Burns said. “Mason and I have been working together and I know that most groups have a set pair, which I think is going to help us this season.” The cross country team’s next meet will be in Prescott Sept. 12.