Brophy to open 2015 versus O’Connor

The Brophy Preparatory High School football team will open its 2015 season Friday, Aug. 21, at Sandra Day O’ Connor High School.

One member of the 2015 Brophy Broncos may be more excited than most to get the game going. Senior linebacker Walker Adams missed out on his junior season because of a torn ACL and he is ready to roll.

“Honestly, it’s a feeling like no other because you spend nine to ten months rehabbing an ACL tear,” Adams said in an August 15 phone interview. “It’s been a long, long haul but my family, my friends and my faith have really helped me get through all of that. Every time I walk out on that field I’m smiling like a kid because I’m just happy to be playing football again…It’s a huge part of my life and it was hard living without it.”

Brophy, 4701 N. Central Ave., finished last season with a loss in the state semifinals to Hamilton High School and a 10-4 record. This season, every single team the Broncos will face were playoff teams in 2014.

The first opponent on Brophy’s schedule is the O’Connor Eagles, a team that finished 7-5 in 2014 and fell in the first round of the playoffs. Statistically, the Eagles were led by quarterback Bailin Markridge in 2014, who threw for 2,327 yards and 23 touchdowns during his junior season according to MaxPreps.com.

Markridge will be one of the focuses of the Broncos defense when the ball is kicked off Friday.

“He’s a great quarterback, he does a lot of things well,” Brophy head football coach Scooter Molander said in an Aug. 16 phone interview. “He’s definitely one of the best quarterbacks, if not the best quarterback we’ll face all year. We know we need to work together and communicate on defense and do our jobs.”

The Broncos are not lacking in the quarterback department either, as senior Cade Knox will lead Brophy into the 2015 campaign. According to MaxPreps.com, Knox threw for 2,306 yards and 24 touchdowns in 2014 and he recently announced his commitment to play football at Harvard University via Twitter.

“It’s definitely huge, being able to focus on every game and not having to talk to college coaches,” Knox said in an Aug. 16 phone interview.

Coach Molander says Knox is yet another example of the kind of academic and athletic opportunities that are provided by Brophy.

“In my eleven years, this will be over 25 different players that have played at the Ivy League level and that goes to our staff and development of the players and it also goes to how our academic regiment here at this school is really second-to-none,” Molander said.

Adams says the Broncos are confident coming off of a deep run into the playoffs last season and perfection is a buzzword in the locker room.

“This year we really don’t want to settle for a quarterfinal or a semifinal loss,” Adams said. “The goal all season through camp and summer has been to make that state run and to go down in history as the next Broncos team to do that.”

The Broncos, like all other high school football teams across the state and country, have been putting in the hours to improve this summer. Now that camp is wrapping up and the season is kicking off, it is time to put all of the things they practiced into live action.

“Football is unlike any other sport—the practice to game ratio is really ridiculous. That’s also why it can be so rewarding and so heart-wrenching,” Coach Molander said. “For all of the time you put in, you really want to play well. We’re excited to get the season started. It’s a pretty neat deal when people work for one another.”

Scottsdale Independent Sports Correspondent Justin Maskulinski can be contacted at jmaskulinski@newszap.com. Follow him on twitter at twitter.com/Maskulinski.

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