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After Forfeits, Private HS Football Team to Play Again

A Seattle-area powerhouse private high school football team will play its first game since Sept. 16 after four straight forfeit wins over schools that chose not to play it due to player safety concerns.

Archbishop Thomas Murphy (ATM) of Everett, Wash., plays host Saturday to Olympic High School of Bremerton, Wash., The Seattle Times reported. All told, five of ATM’s six Cascade Conference opponents have forfeited their games this season.

ATM, which includes six players weighing 250 pounds or more, won its first three games this season by a combined score of 170-0. ATM’s plight has made its way to social media as well as “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon,” which joked the reason why ATM was blowing out its opponents was because its quarterback was the then-suspended Tom Brady in disguise.

“Sorry guys, but I had to go back to my regular team,” Fallon read as a quote from Brady, The Seattle Times reported.

Related: HS Teams Cite Player Safety in Forfeits to Powerhouse

The newspaper, in its analysis of the debate between public and private schools, did point out that ATM was not always this successful. A senior on the team recalled going 3-6 his freshman year in 2013.

“I remember going up against guys that were much bigger than me,” said Abe Lucas, a 6-foot-8, 260-pound lineman who is committed to Washington State. “And there were many times that I wanted to quit, but I stuck it out because that was the commitment that I made.”

According to the newspaper, ATM football coach Jerry Jensen said the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) informed him that it approved an independent schedule next season that will keep ATM, a Class 2A school, eligible for the state playoffs.

In 2018, ATM could play in the neighboring WesCo Conference, consisting of 2A and 3A public schools, or in the Northwest Conference in a 2A football-only capacity. Both proposals were nixed in January but could be revisited, the newspaper reported.

“WesCo is our home. We just need to find a way to get there,” Jensen told the Times. “Being the only north-end Catholic school, they foresee us as the guys that are taking all of their kids. We need to get over that. There are plenty of kids out here. If we just focus on the kids that we have, everybody will have plenty.”

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