Bear Necessities: Bradshaw Mountain Off To Historic Start

It’s a mild fall Friday afternoon in Prescott Valley at Bradshaw Mountain High School with their game against rival Prescott still several hours away. The campus is quiet but as the sun begins to set, the stadium begins to fill.

There’s a new attitude surrounding the 7-1 Bears’ football program, who are off to their best start in 32 years, thanks in large part to second-year head coach Chuck Moller and old-school philosophy which has blended well with his lunch pail team.

“The cupboard was not bare when we got here,” Moller said to Sports360AZ.com. “There were good coaches before we got here. Our coaching philosophies are different but everybody has the same goals and that’s to be successful. What really helps us is we have great administration.” 

Bradshaw’s administration has provided Moller and other coaches on campus upgraded facilities to help compete at the highest level in the 4A Grand Canyon Region. 

“First of all we want to thank the community, this was done with B-Bond 11 years ago when the community rallied,” BMHS Principal Kort Miner explained to Sports360AZ.com. “The 10-year bond was ending and we had to spend that money on the facilities.”

Both the football and baseball fields got facelifts. The Bears’ gridiron squad now has the ability to both practice and play on field turf, a major advantage as the weather turns this time of year. 

In and around Prescott Valley, the local community has caught “Bears Fever” as evidenced by the standing-room-only crowd of nearly 7,000 spectators to watch Bradshaw take on Prescott, just 13 miles west along Route 69.

“Everywhere you go you hear people talking about it,” Prescott Valley Mayor Elect Kell Palguta said with a wide smile to Sports360AZ.com. “They want to talk to me about the town but they also want to ask me [about the Bears]. It definitely is exciting.”

The sense of unity between the local high school and the 58,000 surrounding residents is evident as the players know they’re not only competing for the red and black school colors, but also those around them.

“Definitely,” star senior running back Anthony explained to Sports360AZ.com. “We tied the greatest start [in school history]. I can see the hype around us. This is something special. It doesn’t happen now and then.”

You could call it the perfect marriage.

“Prescott Valley’s your regular home town,” Palguta said. “What’s more hometown than football?”

A Valley native, Eric has had a passion for the Arizona sports scene since an early age. He has covered some of the biggest events including Super Bowls, national championships and the NBA and MLB playoffs in his near 20 years in local media.