By Kevin Eickman
One of the great pleasures of following Milford athletics over the last four years, has been following recent Buccaneer graduate Brion Murray. The player with a constant smile on his face and no quit in his heart, will be heading west to Coffeyville Community College in Kansas. While at Coffeyville, Murray will continue to play football in an attempt to keep improving his football acumen. He will also continue his academics, looking to eventually work in Earth Sciences.
While Murray played football in middle school, he did not play his trade on the gridiron until his junior season at Milford. From the moment he stepped on the field, it was obvious that he was a special player. Murray had been a starter on the Milford basketball team from his freshman year, so it was a bit of a surprise when he decided to come out for football with just two years of high school remaining
“The more I thought about football, the more I wanted to play again,” Murray stated. “I really liked the fast paced action and all the excitement that goes along with playing.”
Murray displayed immense athletic ability, excelling at both receiver and defensive back. On offense, Murray was a threat to score every time he touched the ball. Murray collected 33 receptions over his two seasons, which is solid. Where the numbers really jump off the page however, is what he did with those 33 receptions. Murray accumulated 904 yards and 11 touchdowns, while compiling an average of 27.4 yards per catch. Murray finished second on the all-time receiving yardage list, while finishing first in receiving scores.
While his receiving numbers are impressive, it will most likely be on the defensive side of the ball where Murray will find his way onto the field. While it was not easy, Murray consistently put in the hard work to develop his defensive understanding and skills. By the time he wrapped up his career, he was markedly improved as a defensive back. “One thing Brion has always been willing to do, is work. It has never mattered what it is, basketball, football, the great work he has done over at the Milford Boys & Girls club. He is willing to put in the work,” coach Shaun Strickland stated. Murray recorded seven interceptions during his career, placing him tops in Buccaneers history.
There is one other quality that separates Murray from most other players on the field, that of leadership. Murray was a captain on both the football and basketball teams, never letting his teammates quit and always leading by example “Leadership is a trait that all coaches take a look at. With Brion, it is just as natural as can be.” Strickland concluded “He has what it takes to get it done at the next level, it’s all up to how much he wants it it. And I think he wants it a lot.”
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One of the questions about Murray was whether he would look to play basketball in college, a question he says really never came into play. “Once I was back on the field, I knew this was where I wanted to be. I really enjoyed it and with each game that passed I became more comfortable I became on defense,” said Murray.“While I also enjoyed basketball, I think realistically I have a better future in football.”
While Coffeyville may not be familiar to the casual fan, they have a reputation for developing players and sending them to the next level. It is the hope of Murray, that he can improve his game and possibly advance above the JUCO level “I know I have a lot of work to do, and believe this is the place to do it,” Murray stated.
The one constant in Murray’s life has been his mother. To describe the bond as being close ,would be an understatement. While heading over 1,000 miles west will separate them geographically, it will not drive them apart spiritually. “We both know this is the best thing for me, so it is a decision that we are both comfortable with. We will keep in touch with each other all the time, so it will be okay.” Murray said. “She is always in my heart, so I know exactly where to find her.”
Murray will take the field one last time as a Delaware high school athlete, as he will compete on the DFRC Blue/Gold game at the University of Delaware on June 17.
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