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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, June 19, 2001

Forfeiting is wrong, Damien grad says

 •  Damien forfeits upset football players, parents
 •  Ferd Lewis: System is to blame for prep routs
 •  What do you think of Damien's decision? Join our discussion

By Stephen Tsai
Advertiser Staff Writer

A former Damien Memorial High School player criticized his alma mater's decision to forfeit two football games against nationally ranked St. Louis School this coming season.

Chris Brown, a graduate of Damien, is now a middle linebacker for the University of Hawai'i.

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"I don't like it at all," said Chris Brown, now a middle linebacker at the University of Hawai'i. "It makes me kind of mad. What kind of message are they sending? Are they saying they can't keep up, that they should be playing in a different league?"

Brown dismissed Damien officials' argument that the Monarchs would face additional injury risks by playing.

"It's not a safety risk," Brown said. "They have pads on."

When he was at Damien, Brown recalled, the players looked forward to competing against "the top dogs. (The Crusaders) were the best, and we wanted to play the best. We had nothing to lose. But if we gave them a run for their money, even if we lost, that would be something."

During Brown's senior year, the Monarchs led the Crusaders at halftime before eventually losing by two touchdowns. Still, Brown said, "People come up to me today and say, 'I don't believe how close you came.'"

Brown said his UH scholarship, in part, came from playing against St. Louis. Soon after sending the UH coaches a videotape of that game, he received a scholarship offer.

"We always wanted to try our best against St. Louis because we knew there would be a lot of (college) scouts at the game," Brown said. "I felt, 'If I turned (the scouts') heads, maybe I could get a shot.'"

He added: "You need to show you can play against the best. If you don't, it won't give a true picture of your ability. I think the majority of athletes feel they can compete against anybody. (Damien officials) are taking that away from them. This will hurt them in the long run."