“Archbishop Murphy High School Partnering with the NFL” read the press release in my inbox this week.
“Finally,” I thought, “they’re playing someone who can give them a real game.”
The press release was about fundraising for breast cancer awareness, but it served as a reminder that the Wildcats are playing in an entirely different league than their Cascade Conference rivals.
The private school near Mill Creek has won its first three football games this season by a combined score of 173-0, and the games weren’t even as close as the score might indicate. One of them was 73-0 at halftime before the Wildcats called off the dogs.
Two opponents – South Whidbey and Sultan – have forfeited games, unsure what would be hurt worse by playing: their players’ bodies or their schools’ pride. It’s a bad situation all around, and in our latest poll at HeraldNet.com, we asked how to solve it.
Fifty-one percent said Murphy should step up from 2A to play at the 3A or 4A level. That raises the question of whether it’s fair for a 400-student school to compete with schools several times its size, but at least its games would be worth playing to the end.
Thirty-seven percent said schools should stop recruiting for football, and this is a thorny subject. The state athletic association’s handbook explicitly prohibits recruiting students for athletics, and Murphy hasn’t been accused of breaking the rules. Yet it has an advantage as a private school because it draws students within a 50-mile radius, and somehow an amazing percentage of them are big, strong, gifted athletes. Just luck of the draw, I guess.
And 18 percent said other schools should suck it up and try to compete. There’s a certain nobility about being David in the face of Goliath, and some may find that admirable.
But this feels different. There’s nothing noble about sending teenagers out to be someone’s punching bag.
— Doug Parry, email@example.com; @parryracer
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