Archbishop Murphy (Everett, Wash.) was scheduled to play Sultan on Friday night, but instead Murphy will accept its second consecutive forfeit victory, according to the Everett Herald.
On the field, the Wildcats are 3-0 and have outscored opponents 173-0, but they will be 5-0 by the time the weekend is over.
The reason: Both Sultan and South Whidbey, which forfeited last week, say that their schools are are significant disadvantages in terms of team and roster size making it unwise — and unsafe — to play the games.
In perhaps a reflection of the larger issue between public and private schools, Murphy is a private Catholic school that draws players from a larger geographic area than its public school conference rivals and the program’s success has made it attractive to top athletes. Murphy is a 2A school, but is one of the top teams in the state regardless of size.
Sultan athletic director Scott Sifferman told the Herald that the decision to forfeit was a difficult one to make, as it should be, but noted at a parent meeting, “the parents collectively told us they did not want us to play the game.” He added, “Some parents told us, ‘I’m not going to let my kid be on the field.’”
Cascade Conference president Jason Frederick told the Herald that Murphy’s remaining opponents intend to play the game, but that it would be up to each school to determine how to proceed, especially if a school is hit by injuries in a given week.
The forfeits also call into question whether Murphy will remain in the conference with discussions ongoing about potentially moving to a more competitive league.