AIA365 Staff Insiders
Don KetchumStaff Writer, AIA365.com email@example.com
Brophy QB Bruggman is prime example of leadershipNov 8, 2012
By Don Ketchum
The quarterback position is supposed to be more than calling the plays, taking the snap, handing the ball off or throwing it down the field.
It also is a position of leadership, chock-full of intangibles. Mainly, it is keeping the offense on track, from praising your players for their effort to making sure they don’t get too down on themselves after a busted play. It is staying calm in the eye of the storm.
There are few around Arizona who do that as well as Phoenix Brophy Prep’s Tyler Bruggman.
The 6-foot-2, 190-pound senior has been at his best during the second half of the season, and leads the fourth-seeded Broncos (10-2) into the Division I quarterfinals on Friday night (Nov. 9) against No. 5 Mesa Red Mountain (9-2) at Phoenix College.
Brophy has motivation to reach next week’s semifinals. Red Mountain is one of the teams that defeated the Broncos this season, 33-31, on Sept. 7. Brophy also lost to Santa Margarita, Calif., in the season opener in August.
Bruggman is eager to erase the loss to Red Mountain as well. It might have been his worst game of the season – he completed just 9 of 24 passes and was intercepted three times.
Overall, according to MaxPreps, he is 152 of 265 for 2,535 yards with 32 TDs and only six interceptions. He also has run for four TDs.
He is careful not to let any bulletin-board material slip from his tongue. But that’s one of the things about being a leader – be confident but not overly so, then try to prove your point on the field.
“Red Mountain is a really good opponent. When you get to the playoffs, just about everybody is,’’ he said before heading out to practice on Thursday (Nov. 8). “We have worked hard getting ready this week. We have to be smart with the ball and make good decisions.’’
Bruggman seldom makes bad decisions, including his work in the classroom. He is a straight-A student, and is interested in studying kinesiology or some form of business when he gets to college.
That college will be Washington State, to which he gave his oral commitment before this season started.
Making that choice early freed him to concentrate on the season.
“It has been good knowing where I’ll be going, not having any pressure of calling (college) coaches back, worrying about that, what they’re thinking, during the season. There has been no pressure. I’m happy I got it done before the season started,’’ he said.
He has always watched a lot of film of his opponents, and has put particular focus on Red Mountain.
Bruggman has had two former quarterbacks to follow in regard to how to go about all of this – his father, Curtis, a former Brophy quarterback, and current Brophy coach Scooter Molander, a former quarterback at Tempe Corona del Sol and Colorado State.
Molander marvels at Bruggman’s study habits and what he has done late in the season.
“He really has raised his level of play, particularly in the last five games,’’ Molander said.
Playing quarterback always has been natural for Bruggman.
“I’ve always been a quarterback,’’ he said. “It has the intelligence factor, being able to show progress in a mental sense, and you have the ball in your hands on every play.’’
He is quick to give credit to his teammates.
“We’ve been having more success lately because we’ve been playing together more,’’ he said. “The offensive line has done a great job, opening up the passing game, and the running backs have done a great job, too. It has been a whole team effort.’’
Going into the season, Bruggman had one primary passing target – wide receiver Devon Allen. But two other receivers have stepped up, and Bruggman also looks for them on a regular basis – Clarence Clark and Matthew Auran.
And the running game helps to add balance, with Marche Dennard (1,276 yards) and Will Edwards (388). Edwards has been filling in for Dennard, who missed last week’s game against Chandler with a sore ankle. Dennard is expected to be back against Red Mountain, along with Allen, who also has had ankle issues.
Bruggman would like to wear red and white into the semifinals and finals. If it doesn’t happen, he will deal with it. That’s what leaders do.
“I grew up a Brophy fan, and representing them is a high honor,’’ he said.