On the football field, Archbishop Murphy High School is a powerhouse, overwhelming its first three opponents this year by a combined score of 170-0.
But winning by such margins is coming at a cost. The school is having trouble finding schools willing to play it.
Since a mid-September blowout, three teams have now canceled on Archbishop Murphy. Granite Falls High School is the latest, forfeiting its game scheduled for Friday.
“We made a decision based on the health and welfare of our kids. And that’s really what it comes to. That’s our first priority,” said Granite Falls athletic director Joey Johnson.
Archbishop Murphy isn’t just big. Some of its players are the size of college and even professional players. There are six weighing at least 250 pounds, including three over 300 pounds.
Just one Granite Falls player weighs 250 pounds.
“It’s a physical game,” Johnson said. “And our kids and parents are concerned about getting hurt, so bottom line.”
“That your Friday game has been forfeited, to me doesn’t really ring true to what we’re trying to teach our young adults here,” said Jerry Jensen, Archbishop Murphy’s head football coach.
“This is their opportunity to face adversity, power through it, and it will serve them well in their life,” Jensen said.
One reason the players at Archbishop Murphy are so big is because as a private school, it can recruit players from around the region while public schools cannot. The growing call around the league is for Archbishop Murphy to play in a higher division.
Players like lineman Jackson Yost, who is 6 feet 3 inches and 265 pounds, just want to play.
“We can’t focus on what other schools do and we just have to focus on what we need to do so we can prepare for the next upcoming game,” Yost said.
That is, if there is a next game.