Archive for Friday, July 21, 2000

Murray eager for Shrine Bowl

July 21, 2000


From the dugout in late May, Tom Murray watched his Lawrence High teammates win the Class 6A state baseball tournament.

From the sideline in mid-June, Murray watched fellow city players help Kansas win the Greater Kansas City Football Coaches Assn. Coca-Cola Metro Classic.

When: Saturday, July 29.Kickoff: 7 p.m.Where: Moore Bowl on the Washburn University campus in Topeka.

A busted jaw relegated Murray to spectator at both events instead of a participant.

"I'm definitely tired of sitting around and watching," Murray said. "And with your mouth shut, you can't even cheer too much."

Murray doesn't plan to sit around and cheer next week. Murray, a 6-foot-5, 245-pound offensive lineman, will join the East squad today at Emporia State for the start of the week-long Shrine Bowl camp. The Shrine Bowl is set for 7 p.m. July 29 at Moore Bowl on the Washburn University campus in Topeka.

"I was excited to get picked for it," said Murray, an all-Sunflower League first-team pick and the only LHS player chosen for the all-star event. "I realize it's an honor to represent Lawrence."

Since attending the Metro Classic, Murray has eagerly awaited the Shrine Bowl.

"Not being able to play in Metro game made me hungry for this," Murray said. "The level of competition is so great with really nothing to lose. You try to prove yourself against top competition."

A month ago, Murray had wires removed from his broken jaw. He had his jaw wired shut after being hit by an errant throw while sliding into second base during an LHS baseball practice in mid-May. The injury prevented Murray from playing in the Lions' run to the state title.

"It was great to watch them do what they did," said Murray, who could barely speak two months ago after the injury. "I was so proud. I'm not used to sitting there. That's part of sports. Everytime you step on the field you run the risk of injury."

Although he struggled to maintain his weight two months ago, Murray stuck to his conditioning regimen.

"I could still lift and run," he said. "It was tough not being able to eat solid foods. I lost about 10 pounds, but I probably made up for it the last three weeks. I drank a lot of milk."

Murray doesn't plan to wear extra protection on his jaw during camp.

"A face mask and chin strap should be enough," he said.

Three weeks after the Shrine Bowl, Murray will head to Princeton, where he'll play football. Freshmen are scheduled to report on Aug. 22.

"You can't give your hopes up too high," Murray said of his freshman expectations. "You go there and expect the best and see what happens."

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