LAS VEGAS – The last time anyone saw Paul Lucas compete in a high school event, he was face down on the track at Mesa Community College in May.
He was competing in his second event of the Division I state track meet and he strained his hamstring, ending his goal of winning four golds.
Lucas, who picked up his 11th football offer recently from Kansas State, didn’t have any setbacks in his rehab and he is ready to show it.
“It was terrible, probably my worst day,” he said recently. “I hated it and I am ready to show I am back to 100 percent.”
The injury limited his participation in national track events, but the good news was it kept him home for the football team’s summer program.
“Our line is experienced and might be better than last year,” said Lucas, who ran for 1,008 yards and 12 touchdowns last year. “I am ready to show I can do a lot more than just run the ball.”
Bishop Gorman coach Tony Sanchez and Pride coach Norris Vaughan were both expecting a rematch, but the game organizers at the AIA went a different direction.
“We thought it was going to happen for awhile,” Gorman coach Tony Sanchez said. “It would have been a great game. When we heard it was Brophy we knew they were a great program and that (Brophy coach) Scooter (Molander) always gets them to play at a high level.”
The Gorman roster features Cordell Broadus, the son of rapper Snoop Dogg, and Biaggio Ali Walsh, the grandson of boxing great Muhammad Ali.
“Tell Snoop Dogg’s son I challenge him to a rap off,” Pride running back Paul Lucas said.
The Pride has junior defensive back Kerry Coleman on the team and he is related to the Cardinals’ Tyrann Mathieu.
Brophy junior defensive end Connor Murphy is the brother of Washington Redskins’ 2014 second-round pick Trent Murphy.
Brophy took on the state’s toughest schedule last year while also dealing with some devastating injuries.
It led to a 1-4 start and a 4-6 regular season, but the difficult path led to a playoff appearance as the 12th seed and a first-round win over previously undefeated Westview.
The resolves the Broncos showed in continuing to battle through the bad times will only help the team in 2014.
“I think so because we never go 4-6, ever, and once we got the playoffs we told them it was back to a clean slate and we were able to beat a good Westview team at their place,” Molander said. “It showed the younger players what belief in each other can do regardless of what happened up to that point.”
The 2014 Broncos have a handful of Ahwatukee residents on the roster including starting quarterback Cade Knox and junior tight end/defensive end Dante Diaz-Infante.
Reed is the only program that has not played in this even before and it is clear they are excited to take part.
“It’s pretty darn cool and that kids are excited,” Reed coach Ernie Howren said. “I was even excited. I DVR-ed it and right there it said Reed Raiders vs. Mountain Pointe (on the description of the set recording) and I looked at it a little bit and took it in.”
Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or JSkoda@ahwatukee.com. Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN.