PHOENIX - In pro football, a new season kicks off with what amounts to a month-long Sunday drive. Namely, a four game preseason before the games actually start to count.
In high school football, Brophy Prep started this season with a full-throttle drag race into a brick wall. In fact, the school mascot easily could've been a crash test dummy.
Specifically, we're talking about 2 games in 4 days, including a marquee matchup against the #2 team in the nation – televised to a nationwide audience on ESPN2.
Thing is, if Brophy Head Coach Scooter Molander was a financial advisor, he would consider it a 2-month CD with a very high return on investment. And guess what? As the regular season gives way to the postseason, the Brophy Broncos are cashing in.
Just prior to a 59-21 victory against #5 Phoenix Pinnacle to close out a 9-2 regular season, I had a chance to visit with Coach Molander. I asked him whether his early season schedule with a medieval degree of difficulty was now paying off?
"It's absolutely paid off," Molander said instantly. "It's really paying off now. Our guys are focused and playing well."
When I asked Molander whether he considers falling to the #2 team in the nation (Santa Margarita/CA) a short term loss with long term dividends – he nodded.
"I told the team before the game and after the game that they were never going to play a team that's as big or higher ranked," Molander said. "So, that was a big thing. We always want to challenge ourselves. We battled ‘em and we lost 27-14. But it's paying off now. Our legs are back. And our guys are playing confidently."
And if Brophy adds another state title to the school trophy case, it might just be the willingness to play the best in the country that winds up making Brophy the best in the state.