EVERETT, Wash. — Players and parents are saying they don’t want to play football against Archbishop Murphy High School’s football team, after they’ve blown out teams to start the season. The most recent school, Granite Falls High, says it’s a safety concern.
In response to the latest forfeit, school leaders and the Archbishop Murphy High School football team held a press conference Wednesday to give their response.
“It’s really hard to practice four days a week and then not play on a Friday and watch all your friends play on Fridays,” said Anfernee Gurley, an Archbishop Murphy High School senior and running back for the team.
Gurley and fellow senior Abraham Lucas say they looked forward to their final season of high school football. But after blowing out teams to start the season, the next three teams forfeited games against them.
“It definitely is frustrating, though,” said Lucas. “We just want to play. It’s a sport that we love to play, so we just want to play.”
Three teams so far have forfeited games against Archbishop Murphy, leaving the coach and athletic director shocked and disappointed.
“Hopefully, we enact change on the state level, on the conference level, that doesn’t allow teams to forfeit three days before the game,” said Archbishop Murphy Coach Jerry Jensen at the Wednesday news conference.
Granite Falls High School is the latest team that says they won’t face the Wildcats. Mom Stacey Morris has a freshman playing for Granite Falls. She supports the decision to forfeit the game.
She was worried about her son, who is 5-foot-8, going up against a player like Lucas, who is a foot taller.
“They outweigh us, they outman us, everything,” said Morris. “Our kids are not afraid to lose, but they’re using common sense, saying if someone gets hurt then we have no team. We have no place to replace them.”
Regardless of why, Archbishop Murphy High School says this forfeit means two teams lost this Friday, not one.
“We’ve got to show these kids that you move onto the next step,” said Jensen. “You improve yourself and go to the next step and that’s how we’re going to handle it.”
Archbishop Murphy High says it has two more conference games and one non-conference game left, with homecoming scheduled for next week. They say they don’t have reason to believe any other schools are planning to forfeit.