This isn't what it seems at first.
I don't see that as a big deal, actually a good move. Phillips is going to the state finals to WIN, not just to get a medal...
So, if your worried his head isnt in the game for a consol, forfeit instead of hurting his confidence worse by dropping 2 in a row b/c he's hung up on the 1st loss.
Regardless of whether that's the case or not, as a 4 he'll draw a 1 first, but this is perfect b/c when he beats the 1 he essentially is back on the track of the 1 seed after only 1 match instead of being stuck in the middle with 3's and 2's. As a non-1 seed he would have to beat a 1 anyways at some point to get back to the finals, so why not first round.
I think this is really good strategy, but it only works if your kid is superb and will likely win that match-up against a 1 friday night. Raw deal for the semi-state champ that draws Phillips Friday night!