Photo Illustration by Bryce Owen ’17 | Brendan Duffy ’17 poses in the Brophy Bronco costume March 14.
By Ibu Oluyi ’17 & Manuel Mata-Flores ‘19
At most athletic events, the Bronco, the school’s mascot, is seen on the sideline jumping, dancing and trying to excite the crowd.
The mascot is seen by virtually everyone, yet few know who is behind the mask.
For the past four years, one student has been behind the mask almost exclusively. Brendan Duffy ’17 fell into the job almost by chance one night.
“My freshman year, at the first football game, I saw the Bronco dancing around on the sideline,” Duffy said. “I saw him go back to his hiding place so I approached him and asked him if there is an opening soon.”
“He was a senior at the time and said I could start the job at the next game,” he said.
Ever since that first game back in freshman year, Duffy has had numerous experiences that he will always look back on.
“I’d say there have been a lot of fun football games, a lot of fun videos that have been made, but I remember when we beat Desert Ridge back in freshman year,” Duffy said. “The game went down to the last minute, and it was such a fun moment being on the sidelines. Everyone was celebrating and having a great time.”
Connor Brachtl ’17, who has been on Student Council with Duffy since sophomore year, also feels Duffy’s role as mascot is to bring joy and energy to those at the game.”Duffy lights up the fans both in the stands and on the field,” Brachtl said. “When he’s not running around like a madman and pumping up the crowd, you can see him playing with little kids on the field and making sure they’re having fun too.”
Duffy holds a power that allows him to channel his energy into the crowd and bring out their enjoyment in the game.
“Being a mascot means a lot to me, being able to represent the school and being able to bring happiness and joy to so many people,” Duffy said. “It’s definitely something I don’t take for granted.”
Mr. John Buchanan, who is at home games as security director and is behind the scenes with Duffy said he has spent plenty of time with Bronco and his shenanigans.
”I know that kid he’s always bugging me every time he gets in that suit,” he said.
Mr. Buchanan also said he believes there is power that Duffy gets when he puts on the suit, not only in the suit but out of it as well.
“They both seem to exhibit pretty much the same personality in or out of the Bronco suit,” Mr. Buchanan said ”I don’t really notice a lot of difference because he’s very outgoing when he’s in the Bronco suit … and when he’s out of the suit … he’s still kind of the same old guy.”
Mr. Richard Cordova taught Duffy in Spanish.
“They’re good homies, they care about the community, and their good dancers,” Mr. Cordova said. “One is faster and one is getting a little viejito [old].”
Mr. Cordova also said both of Duffy’s personalities have a huge impact on the community but being the Bronco has changed Duffy for the better.
“Brendan has matured more, he’s become more assertive, is not afraid to take up on challenges, he’s kind and he’s become more aware of the world,” Mr. Cordova said addressing how becoming the Bronco has helped shape Duffy into who he is.
“I’ve known him since his sophomore year and worked with him on student council,” said Mr. Tony Oldani.
Duffy was chosen not by me but by the Bronco before him. Its this process where the responsibility is bestowed on the new Bronco Mr. Oldani said when asked if he chose the Bronco.
“The Bronco is a personality that is very different from Duffy’s and I think that is intentional,” Mr. Oldani said when asked if he saw any similarities between both personas. “Duffy is typically a guy who works behind the scenes, he is a guy who doesn’t seek a lot of fanfare and the Bronco is the complete opposite of that.”
Over the years Duffy has matured alongside the Bronco and has respected the Bronco name and what it stands for.