Football: Monarch’s Bravo joins 300-club after win over Gateway

Bravo has gone 300-94 in his 34-year coaching career

  • Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer

    Monarch High School's Keiran Singh runs for big yardage during a game against Gateway on Friday night at Centaurus High School in Lafayette.

  • Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer

    Monarch High School's Caden Poulson dives into the endzone for a touchdown during a game against Gateway on Friday night at Centaurus High School in Lafayette.

  • Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer

    Monarch High School quarterback Kyle Gordon throws a pass during a game against Gateway on Friday night at Centaurus High School in Lafayette.

  • Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer

    Monarch High School Head Coach Phil Bravo talks with Keiran Sing during a game against Gateway on Friday night at Centaurus High School in Lafayette.

  • Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer

    Monarch High School's Jackson Petitte runs the ball during a game against Gateway on Friday night at Centaurus High School in Lafayette.

  • Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer

    Monarch High School's Ryan Shaughnessy runs the ball during a game against Gateway on Friday night at Centaurus High School in Lafayette.

  • Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer

    Monarch High School quarterback Kyle Gordon runs the ball during a game against Gateway on Friday night at Centaurus High School in Lafayette.

  • Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer

    Monarch High School Head Coach Phil Bravo applauds his teams effort during a game against Gateway on Friday night at Centaurus High School in Lafayette.

  • Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer

    Monarch High School's Jackson Petitte runs the ball after receiving a kick off during a game against Gateway on Friday night at Centaurus High School in Lafayette.

  • Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer

    Monarch High School's Keiran Sing runs in for a touchdown during a game against Gateway on Friday night at Centaurus High School in Lafayette.

  • Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer

    Monarch High School Head Coach Phil Bravo talks with his team during a game against Gateway on Friday night at Centaurus High School in Lafayette.

  • Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer

    Monarch High School's Max Fredricksmeyer runs the ball during a game against Gateway on Friday night at Centaurus High School in Lafayette.

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LAFAYETTE — Monarch’s Phil Bravo, the coach who brought the double-wing formation to Colorado in the early 1990s, entered hallowed grounds in the high school ranks on Friday night when he earned win No. 300 of his career.

A mostly hushed accomplishment was finally announced over the loudspeaker at Spangenberg Field in the waning minute of the Coyotes’ 32-6 victory over Gateway Friday night. His players then doused him in icy water.

Monarch High School Head Coach Phil ...
Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer
Monarch High School Head Coach Phil Bravo talks with Keiran Sing during a game against Gateway on Friday night at Centaurus High School in Lafayette.

Letting it set in, Bravo snapped a picture of the scoreboard and senior Jack Ewig handed him the game ball. The old-school coach, now in uncharted waters, chuckled. He recalled how a 90-yard kick return against his team at Whittier Christian (Calif.) was the start to his career, then tried to put into words all the people and relationships that go into a legacy that has spanned over his 34 years.

“There’s an easy recipe,” said Bravo, who has accumulated a 300-94 record and won three of his five state title appearances while leading programs at Whittier Christian, Centaurus and Monarch. “You surround yourself with great people. You hold kids responsible. You create structure and accountability, not only for your kids but yourself. You do what’s right for kids and you last in this great game of high school football.”

According to a list compiled over a decade by Texas resident Steven Floyd, Bravo joins an exclusive club of less than 300 high school coaches (at the start of 2019) who have ever reached the milestone in 11-man history.

“I almost feel like I’m a part of something else that someone else has achieved,” Bravo said. “It’s something that has carried with me from California to Centaurus to Monarch High School.”

Unrelenting in his approach, Bravo brought his pounding, double-wing scheme to the state in the early 1990s and hasn’t steered as more pass friendly formations have become the trend.

“It still is about blocking and tackling,” Bravo said. “Teams that I’ve had (in Colorado) have been to the championship four times and you have to run the ball in December to win championships.”

His founding rules of discipline, accountability and team-first are crucial for its success.

“Last year, a kid went on the field and signaled for a first down and I pulled him right out of the game,” Bravo laughed. “I said, ‘You didn’t block, you just ran the ball.’ The guys who should be signaling first down is the entire offensive line.”

In the milestone win, Keiran Singh rushed for 163 yards and a score as the Coyotes (2-3) overcame a number of stalled-out drives thanks to big plays by its defense and special teams.

At the start, Monarch fumbled after a long drive into red zone but got it back after Austin Fiala’s strip sack and Zac Schmanski’s recovery. The ensuing 10-yard drive ended with a TD pass from Kyle Gordon to Caden Poulson.

Singh then had his fifth rushing TD early in the second quarter and Max Fredricksmeyer scored from a yard out in a third quarter that saw the Coyotes block a punt and Jackson Petitte wrangle in an interception off a tip in the end zone.

Ewig and Ryan Shaughnessy added rushing scores in the fourth.

“It’s awesome to be a part of history,” Fredricksmeyer said. “We all know how long he’s been coaching, one — how many championships he’s won, how successful he’s been. Just to be a part of that legendary coaching status and just getting that win for him is really awesome for us as a team.”