Brophy Prep makes early statement with swim, golf titles

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                </div>  Based on the results of last weekend’s Chandler Wolves Invitational, Brophy Prep will continue to be a dominant force in high school swimming in Arizona.  But the Broncos also […]<!-- AddThis Sharing Buttons below -->
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Based on the results of last weekend’s Chandler Wolves Invitational, Brophy Prep will continue to be a dominant force in high school swimming in Arizona.  But the Broncos also established themselves as a threat on the links this year as well by running away from the rest of the field in winning the Aguila Golf Open.

Brophy, a small all-boys Catholic school in central Phoenix, has dominated swimming in Division I for more than a quarter century. As the Broncos enter the 2015 season they will be seeking their 28th consecutive state title.  They have won 36 titles in the history of the program.

And head coach Pat O’Neil has done his part in carrying forward the tradition, leading the Broncos to nine straight state titles since he took over in 2006 and being named National Swim Coach of the Year following the 2013-14 season.

Taking the Brophy job was one way of ending years of frustration for O’Neil.  Prior to taking over at Brophy, he was head swimming coach at Mountain View High School in Mesa, where he built a strong program that consistently competed for a state title – but fell short five times, finishing as runner-up to… you guessed it, Brophy.  Hey, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

So, as they have done so often, the Broncos used the Wolves Invite to make an early-season statement.  Last year they won the event by dominating the relays, setting meet records in two of the three, as they ran away with the title.  They likewise ran away with the 2014 state title, scoring 341 points to finish far ahead of runner-up Mountain View High School (Mesa), which finished with 212 points.

Brophy won this year’s Wolves Invite with 360 points, as Desert Vista High School finished as a distant second place with 168 points, narrowly edging out third-place Mountain View with 165.

In reality, the Wolves Invite generally offers an early look at those teams that will be vying for second place at the state meet.  And that looks to be the case again this year.

But the Broncos also made an early statement on the fairways by winning the Aguila Invitational, hosted by Horizon High and held at the Aguila Golf Course in Laveen.

Brophy won the three-day, 36-hole event going away, finishing 10 strokes ahead of second-place Chaparral High.  But the battle for individual honors was much tighter, with Brophy’s Michael Feagles coming out of a three-hole playoff against Mountain Pointe High‘s Ryan Rybicki with medalist honors.  And the Broncos showed their depth, placing four players – Chip Getz (5-under), Jack Sanford (1-under), and Tim Heslin (even par) – in the event’s top 15 finishers.

While Brophy may be flexing its muscles early, there are any number of Division I schools looking to step into the void that has been left by the reigning state champion, Hamilton High.  The Huskies coasted to the D-I state title last year with a squad laden with seniors, winning the championship by nine strokes.

But the top five scorers on that 2014 team graduated.  Meanwhile, a couple of Division II powers, Tucson’s Canyon del Oro High School and Thunderbird High in Phoenix, have stepped up to D-I play this year and will add some additional top-flight play at the top.

So Brophy – or any other school taking aim at the 2015 state title – is going to have plenty of competition.