Boys Tennis Brings the Heat 

In the absence of football, the Archbishop Murphy community has had to fulfill  sports watching needs in other ways. There’s the currently undefeated girls volleyball team, the star studded girls soccer team, and the incredibly fast cross country team…..but none of those quite have the male dominant, intense feel of football. What does you might ask? Archbishop Murphy Boys Tennis. 

Led by coaches Tyler McLaughlin and Chris Becher, the Wildcats took on South Whidbey today at home. In a last minute decision, I chose to attend this match. And let me tell you, I wasn’t expecting the level of intensity and seriousness the tennis boys brought. 

I don’t know much about tennis, but according to junior girls tennis player Hannah Beyer, tennis is, “hard to learn, easy to master.” As we watched senior duo Jack McClincy and Riley Quinton play the court, it was obvious by their skill they were not first timers. And on either side of them, fellow senior duo Trent Mosier and Robbie de Mello and junior duo Matt Welter and Jack Glynn also showed their capabilities, bringing the heat against South Whidbey. Throughout the six courts, there were shouts of both excitement and frustration during gameplay. 

These matches were not played in the same carefree manner I had seen on the girls team last spring. No, the AMHS boys tennis team plays to win. And although it may not have been their evening for winning, they played some hardcore tennis, and, might I add, looked good doing it in their classy black and white polos. 

Watching the AMHS Boys Tennis team play today definitely gave me a greater appreciation for the sport.  I’m excited to watch #MoreTennisTennis. 

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The Powerhouses of AMHS Volleyball 

The 2016 Archbishop Murphy volleyball team bears many familiar faces from the past few years. Currently undefeated both within league and out, the Wildcat ladies seem poised for success this season. Let’s take a closer look at the some of the powerhouse players of AMHS volleyball. 

The Haywards 

Sam (’17) and Natalie (’18) Hayward have been in the spotlight for Archbishop Murphy volleyball since their freshman years. Last year, both were named all-conference and Sam was named co-MVP. On Tuesday night against Cedarcrest Sam had 15 kills and Natalie had 3 kills, 27 assists, and 2 aces. Sam has also committed to play for Nevada next fall. 

Jaime Cymbaluk

Jaime (’17), an ever bubbly presence on the AMHS campus, has already made a verbal commitment to play at Point Loma Nazarene University. The past three years she’s been named all-conference as an outside hitter, and Tuesday against Cedarcrest she had 6 aces and 7 kills. 

Gaby Flake 

Gaby (’17) makes her happy personality constantly known on the court in between points, but also brings the heat in the libero position. Last year she was named all-conference second team. 

The rest of the team including Olivia Lawson (’17), Claire Doud (’19), Payten Bradley (’18), Emma Feeney (’19), and Caroline Kramer  (’19) all put work in on the court to contribute to each Wildcat win. 

Last year the girls took the conference and league titles and took 6th place in the state. Coach Brandon Jones was named Coach of the Year.

With a strong team of returning players, another run at state sure seems within the Wildcat’s future. 

AMHS Girls Soccer Dynasty 

On Tuesday evening, the Archbishop Murphy Wildcats girls soccer team took on 3A opponent Bishop Blanchet. This second out of conference game of this season was a tough 3-0 loss. 

The Wildcat soccer program, both girls and boys, have long been a dynasty at Archbishop Murphy. I remember one of the first things I noticed at AMHS many years ago as a Wildcat Buddy was the many plaques adorning the gym wall, awarding the school with numerous athletic titles. Girls soccer by far had the most. Each year from 2001-2011, the team placed top 3 in the state. It seems as though the girl’s soccer program may not be the quite the same as it used to be. 

Nevertheless, a team this year headed by senior captains Caroline Adams, Talia Daigle, and Alaina Hines and coached by Mike Bartley and Mike Boswell along with championship winning alum Maddie Huggins, holds potential. With the loss of large senior groups the past 2 years, the varsity team has faced a pretty new starting lineup each year, which obviously creates some difficulty at the beginning of the season. But with a team comprised of 10 talented seniors, a group of amazing sophomores and junior, and two strong freshman, including Lily Zwiefel in goal, it’s hard to not see the Wildcats doing big things later this season. 

The team travels to Wenatchee and Chelan this weekend to play their final out-of-conference game and do some team building. 

Archbishop Murphy (2A) beats Issaquah (4A) in home opener 

“I bet you they make it to 100 points.” Although anyone knowledgeable enough about football would know no coach would let their starting players keep playing in a non-league game when the score is up 73 points in the first half, this bet was indeed made by an AMHS student. That’s how confident in the Wildcat offense he was. And truth be told, if star players Connor Johnson, Anfernee Gurley, and Collin Montez had been kept in all game, they might have made it to 100 points. 

But before we get to the game, let’s set the scene. Archbishop Murphy High School, Everett. The sky is cloudy. A rainstorm and thunder shower earlier in the day brought the smell of rain to the air. Students flock to the student section, assuming their new hierarchical positions in the stands. A group of seniors, led by the ever spirited Lucas Dini and Danny Damitio, hold down the front section of the stands and lead the student body in chants and cheers. Everyone is decked out, excited that Friday night lights at Archbishop Murphy have started up again. 

The Wildcats defer, and senior kicker Ryan Henderson takes to the field. Every single kickoff Henderson would kick that night would fall in the endzone. After the Wildcat defense holds Issaquah to a 4 and out, Anfernee Gurley takes the ball 55 yards on 1st down for a touchdown. The game continues in a similar pattern for the rest of the night. 

Archbishop Murphy’s defense forces Issaquah to punt. Connor Johnson leads the offense onto the field. The Wildcats score. The fight song is played by the band. Henderson kicks the extra point, followed by performing his ritualistic handshake with Johnson, who is not only the quarterback but also the holder. And the cheerleaders do 7 kicks for 7 points. Repeat, more or less. 

The first half seemed to go on for ages as the Archbishop Murphy offense typically only took the field for a single play. By the end of the first half, the score was 73-0, and the game was figuratively over. Second and third string players got their chance to touch the ball in the second half, and managed to keep Issaquah scoreless. 

Many Archbishop Murphy senior players have already received offers to play college ball. DE and offensive tackle Abe Lucas has already verbally committed to play for Washington State and teammates  Jackson Yost and Gurley have had offers from Central Washington University and Eastern Washington University, respectfully. There are surely many more to come before the end of the season. 

It was a pretty good night to be a part of an “overrated 2A school”; wildcat pride seems to be in full effect already. 

(TD: Gurley 3, Collin Montez 2, Aleks Hansen, Joey Groves, Keonie Hoxie) 

(FR: Will Doud)