The Brophy football team is known for a few things: a big-armed quarterback, a tough defense, a run game that can wear opponents down.
But the special team units always seem to be consistnent as well.
Whether it’s Alex Garoutte, who made his way to Arizona State, or Streator Bates helping seal a 2014 comeback over Mountain Pointe by booting four field goals, special teams are a priority for the Broncos.
“(The players) take what we emphasize,” Brophy football coach Scooter Molander said. “So if we emphasize that during the offseason and in spring ball, it’s important to them.”
Last year, the Broncos had senior Trevor Eldean handling kicking and punting duties. As a punter, he averaged nearly 37 yards per punt. He was perfect on his PATs and topped his field goals with a 50-yard make in a 31-10 win over Pinnacle in Week 1.
Now, the Broncos are looking to find Eldean’s replacement and are well-equipped to do so under the leadership of coaches John Auran and Cal Newman:
Junior J.C. Ramirez, a left-footed kicker, has a “big leg” according to Molander.
“(He is) a very, very good kicker and good punter as well. He really developed in the offseason in terms of leadership and communication,” the Brophy coach said.
Sophomore Jackson Garcia spent time on the junior varsity developing his skills and maturing as a kicker.
“What helped me most was my mistakes,” Garcia said. “Some of the the (mistakes) I’ve made: not lining up right, getting worrying about the wind, getting too nervous, some of the little things that have a big effect on the overall performance. In the offseason, I corrected a lot of those things and going into this season, I hope it’s going to be great.”
Great day today! pic.twitter.com/XEiMdaUS4N
— Jackson Garcia (@jacksoncgarcia) April 8, 2017
Converting the field goals and launching the punts is important, but that can’t happen if the ball doesn’t get there accurately and on time. Enter senior long snapper Ross Reiter, who is the top-ranked long-snapper in the state and the #2 long snapper in the nation.
“He’s as good as we’ve ever had,” Molander said. “It really, really makes our kicking game that much better knowing the ball is going to be where it’s supposed to be, it’s going to be on-time, which gives confidence to our kickers and punters that all they simply have to do is their job.
— ROSS REITER (@reiterr50) April 11, 2017
Ross’ older brother, Donald, snapped for Brophy as well and is a preferred walk-on for the Arizona Wildcats. Donald took to long-snapping in eighth grade, and younger brother Ross wanted to follow in his older brother’s footsteps. After years of honing their skills, the brothers are rose up the long-snapping ranks.
“I look up to him every day,” Ross said of Donald. “He really got me into long-snapping. We’re not the biggest guys but that position is going to carry us in our future.”
There is plenty of time leading up to the 2017 season, but be ready to chalk in that the Brophy football team will have a shot to score points once they cross the 50-yard line, they will control the field position and the snaps will be right on the money.