Coach: Scooter Molander
Last year’s record: 9-3, lost to Mesa in state quarterfinals
Returning starters offense: 3, including guard Kyle Veldman, the third of three brothers to go through Brophy drew praise for his offseason work and will be counted on heavily for a young offensive line.
Returning starters defense: 4, including Josh Dennard, who started as a receiver as a sophomore but spent more time on defensive backfield last year. The talented senior will be a two-way starter.
Schedule (all home games at Phoenix College): Aug. 27 vs. Deer Valley; Sept. 3 vs. Gilbert; Sept. 10 vs. St. Mary’s; Sept. 17 vs. Centennial; Sept. 23 at Chandler; Oct. 1 vs. Red Mountain; Oct. 15 at Mesa; Oct. 22 at Hamilton; Oct. 29 vs. Desert Vista; Nov. 5 at Yuma.
Sept. 17 vs. Centennial: The Broncos get to ease their way into the schedule early on, but this is the buck stops here against this 5A-II power, where Brophy lost 24-12 last season in a game far closer than that score indicates.
Sept. 23 at Chandler: A brutal follow-up to what should be a brutal affair against Centennial. After Chandler missed two extra-points, the Broncos forced overtime on a TD pass on the last play of regulation, and won on a PAT in overtime.
Oct. 22 at Hamilton: Obviously. The Huskies have won three consecutive in this matchup since Brophy won the 2007 state semifinal in the slop, but none by more than 10 points, including last year’s last-minute field goal.
Don’t pay much attention to the lack of returning starters for the Broncos. It makes a difference, but Hamilton and Brophy have proven to be exceptions in 5A-I. These perennial contenders have growing pains to go through, but Scooter Molander-coached teams have done it before, and despite the youth and inexperience, Molander likes the potential.
A few key positions will work themselves out. Last year’s incumbent Chase Knox (1,698 yards, 15 TD, 14 INT) is competing with up-and-coming sophomore Tyler Bruggman for the starting QB spot. Marche Dennard (Josh’s younger brother) and Kevin Malloy will both share action in the backfield.
Many spots remain unsettled going into Week 1, especially with Gary Galante’s defense, but if the finish is what counts, then count on Brophy hanging around in November.
“We have a young group but they’re very talented,” Molander said. “If we can grow, physically and mentally, and coach them up, we have a chance to be pretty good.”