Plenty of changes for Archbishop Murphy | Football

Football season starts with play in new league while starting a younger team
By David Pan | Jul 20, 2018
Photo by: David R Pan Archbishop Murphy junior quarterback Victor Gabalis drops back to pass.

It’s the start of a new chapter in more ways than one for the Archbishop Murphy football team.

In the fall, the Wildcats will begin play in the new Northwest 2A Conference Sky Division.

Archbishop Murphy also will be fielding a younger team that was hit hard by graduation.

Wildcats coach Jerry Jensen said he anticipates six or seven new starters on both sides of the ball.

Jensen liked what he saw from his squad during spring/summer practices at the high school.

“We have a lot of inexperience,” he said. “It’s a hard-working crew that is dedicated in trying to get better. … It’s a whole new batch of kids.”

The Wildcats do return an experienced quarterback in junior-to-be Victor Gabalis, who helped guide the team to the state semifinals.

“Victor will take on a leadership role,” Jensen said. “He’ll have a young line in front of him. He’s going to have to step up and figure some things out.”

The offseason work has benefited Gabalis.

“He’s definitely worked to get better,” Jensen said. “The more reps he takes, the better he’s going to get.”

The graduation of league offensive MVP Kyler Gordon, now at the University of Washington, means that others have the opportunity to shine.

Josiah Santiago and Joe Ennis have impressed the Archbishop Murphy coach.

“Josiah Santiago has opened some eyes this summer,” Jensen said. “Joe Ennis also has done some to good things in the backfield.”

Defensive standouts include Luke Riojas, John Land-Quinn and Dillon Singh Halpin.

The new Northwest 2A Conference Sky Division includes some familiar opponents. Archbishop Murphy previously has played Lakewood, Lynden and Burlington-Edison in the postseason within the last three years.

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