By David Krueger Herald Writer
Eds. note: Herald writer David Krueger visited Archbishop Murphy camp on Monday.
What’s new? Head coach Jerry Jensen
During the 2012 season, the Archbishop Murphy went through head coaches faster than Alex Galgano could run to the endzone. In a season of turmoil, the Wildcats had three different head coaches and still made it to the 2A state quarterfinals.
This year, the Wildcats hope they have found the man that will lead them back to the playoffs for years to come in former Archbishop Murphy assistant coach Jerry Jensen, who was on staff with the original Archbishop Murphy head coach Terry Ennis, who started the Murphy football program.
“Murphy was a really special place when I came here in 2005,” Jensen said. “I was a witness to Coach Ennis starting the program in the beginning. It just holds a special place in my heart. As does the Everett community. Football helped me and the people of Everett helped me through sports and this is kind of my way of giving back to them.”
Jensen, who was an assistant coach at Mount Vernon last year after taking some time off from coaching to build a house, said that he will stress competition, consistency and trying to improve on the field each day.
“We want to be able to compete with the top teams in the conference, the Sultans, the Lakewoods, King’s,” Jensen said. “That’s our goal.”
Returning all-conference players
First team–Foster Wade (Sr., Tight End).
Player to watch: Foster Wade, Sr., OL/DL
With a young squad, Jensen went to his all-league tight end and asked him a favor: Would the first-team All-Cascade Conference tight end be willing to switch to offensive lineman and fill an area of need for Archbishop Murphy?
Wade was more than happy to oblige.
“We’ve asked Foster to switch positions, based on need, and he did that without even a second thought,” Jensen said. “I’ve been very impressed with Foster and his willingness to do whatever the team needs him to do. He’s a guy that’s going to compete. We need more Foster Wades.”
Jensen said Wade will start on the offensive line, and will be an anchor on the Wildcats’ defensive front. It’s still possible Wade could get some snaps at tight end, although Jensen was careful not to promise anything.
“We’ll see how things transpire,” Jensen said. “I would like to be able to play him at tight end but as needs are met that may happen but it’s not guaranteed.”
Fresh Face: Kerry Jackson, So., RB
With many of last year’s Wildcat team graduated, numerous spots were opened across the board for Archbishop Murphy. One position that needed to be filled was running back, where Jackson, a sophomore, has started to establish himself.
“He’s a kid that’s starting to figure out football a little bit,” Jensen said. “We get him moving in the right direction and he’s going to be able to do some things.”
Jensen said that Jackson is a talented athlete, and just needs to get some reps and experience on Friday nights.
“He’s got the raw tools,” Jensen said.
With only eight seniors and 12 juniors, Archbishop Murphy is a very, very young and inexperienced team. However, they could be on the verge of another team that they can develop over a couple years and create another dynasty with.
The Wildcats are hardly the only team in the Cascade Conference to lose several key pieces from last year’s team. The entire league is dealing with the graduation of star athletes, which should make the conference anybody’s league to win.
It’s hard to pick against Archbishop Murphy. Even in a year when the Wildcats lost an unprecedented two Cascade Conference games, they were still able to make it to the 2A state quarterfinals.
It’s probably best not to doubt the Archbishop Murphy football team.