Under the leadership of varsity Coach Jon Shores, the Brophy golf team has experienced the sweet smell of success – three times in a row. During September and October, the team won nine of the nine-hole matches they played against high schools across the Valley in addition to three tournaments.
According to Shores, the team was on point this year with the help of starters Charlie Palmer, Brayden Bozak, Jack Dozer, George Rubelsky and Henry Dall.
“This season’s success has been because of each of the players,” senior Michael Kuhl said. “We had a competitive team of 12, and we strived to be the best version of ourselves. Golf is a game that tests patience and concentration.”
Shores said that the time and energy expended by the team were critical reasons for their success. He also attributes their achievements to ancillary forms of support. “The boys hire swing, fitness and mental coaches, who focus on motivation and resilience,” he explained.
The season began the second week of August and culminated in early November with the State Championships in Tucson. Brophy posted a two-day total of eight under par at the championship, finishing in second place behind Chandler Hamilton’s 35 under par. Three players finished in the top 10; Charlie Palmer in fifth, George Rubelsky in sixth and Jack Dozer in seventh.
Brophy golfers enhanced their skills with afternoon matches of 15 players playing nine-holes against two other schools. Tournaments, by contrast, are two-day events of 10 to 20 teams, with 50-100 players playing 18 holes each day.
The team’s winning streak began at the Varsity Invitational Tournament at Grayhawk Golf Course in Scottsdale, held on August 27 and 28.
“They had their best team score in tournament history,” said Shores. “They played four-under par with sophomore Tyler Spielman posting a tournament record of ten under par as an individual.”
The next cause for celebration occurred at their second tournament on September 3-4 at the Brophy Rodeo played at the Wigwam Resort Golf Club in Litchfield Park. The team’s trajectory stayed on course when they once again won at the Encanterra Tournament International the weekend of September 23-24. Hosted by Perry High School in Gilbert, the event was held in San Tan Valley.
Discussing the allure of the game, player George Rubelsky said, “I wasn’t planning on playing golf in high school, but once I tried it, I was hooked. This has been a very competitive year that’s been amazing and unforgettable. I feel like I’ve gotten to know all my teammates very well, as we’ve grown our team chemistry since the beginning of the season. I’m looking forward to playing in college.”
Shores described the multiple ways he believes golf impacts teens’ lives. “I love the sport, but I also love the fact it’s an excellent avenue to help kids learn about life beyond high school and beyond competitive golf.
Golf skills include patience, dealing with adversity, determination, trusting in yourself, and learning to deal with disappointment. It’s a game you can play for the rest of your life. I’ve been coaching at Brophy for 21 years, and I’ll coach as long as my wife lets me,” Shores said with a grin.