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From the Bench: Broken Hand Doesn't Break Spirit of BHS's Murphy Who has All Intentions to Return

By Jeff Toquinto on October 01, 2017 from Sports Blog via Connect-Bridgeport.com

Chapin Murphy remembers it well. He was on the field, starting, against North Marion as a sophomore for Bridgeport High School’s 2015 football team and tackle Noah Markley came up to him and filled his ear with advice and inspiration.
 
“Noah told me it was my time to make a name for myself,” said Murphy.
 
Markley was the right person to give the advice. He, too, had gotten a start as a sophomore and had spent three seasons where no one could block him on defense.
 
Two years later, as he was in the fourth game of his senior season, there was a big similarity between Markley and Murphy even though they played different positions on the line. It was becoming very obvious that no one could block Murphy and no one really has since that North Marion game – at least not consistently.
 
It was obvious last year to those beyond the BHS football realm. And to be honest, it was obvious his sophomore year when he began starting on one of the most talented teams in BHS football history.
 
“I remember I got a sack in that North Marion game and I figured out I could compete and do everything I could to make a name for myself,” said Murphy. “I wanted to stay in that starting lineup.”
 
He has been there ever since. Murphy has been a one-man wrecking ball from his defensive end position to the point where he’s rushing the quarterback, being held or blowing up running plays on nearly every snap.
 
Nothing, it seemed, could take him out of the lineup. That would all change, unfortunately, against Fairmont Senior in week four this year.
 
“It was the beginning of the third period and we were punting. I was the personal protector and when the ball was hiked one of their players came around the corner. My job was to make sure he didn’t get a chance to get to the punter so I blocked him,” said Murphy, who said he didn’t do anything unusual on the play. “When I blocked him, I heard my hand snap. I knew it was broke.”
 
After sitting out for several minutes, Murphy somehow managed to finish the game. He credits “adrenaline” for having practically no pain after it happened.
 
“My hand didn’t really hurt until the next morning,” said Murphy.
 
By Friday night of the game he had already had a confirmed break after getting x-rays at Bridgeport Express Care. On Monday, a specialist determined surgery wouldn’t heal his hand any faster than a cast.
 
That was the good news. The bad news was that Murphy was out for the foreseeable future with a broken middle metacarpal on his right hand.
 
“It’s a week to week thing. They’ll see how it’s healing and determine when I can go,” said Murphy. “I’m hoping it gets to a point where I can play with a soft cast, like a club that you see players play with on TV. I’m hoping it’s sooner rather than later.”
 
Murphy isn’t alone in the thought process. Count BHS Coach John Cole and his staff and Murphy’s Indian teammates who are hoping for a return – at best during the regular season and at worst by the time the postseason comes around – for the senior leader.
 
“His healing process is big for him and the team. I know his teammates want him back. I know the coaches want him back,” said Cole. “He’s the guy that’s the general. He would have been in that role every game on the field because you know he’s going to play hard. As a coach that’s the one thing you want every game and every play.”
 
Last year, the entire state took notice. Murphy was a first team Class AA all-state selection on the defensive line as he totaled 38 tackles – 18.5 of which were for losses totaling 80.5 yards to the opposition. He led the team with 5.5 sacks, including 2.5 in the Class AA semifinal contest, broke up three passes and forced two fumbles.
 
This year, he had 13 tackles – including seven for losses totaling 38.5 yards. That total included a team-high three sacks for 15 yards in losses.
 
If there was a stat for time held that were called and times held that weren’t called, I’m betting he would have led the state in that category last year and likely be leading it this year.
 
“He’s just really good. He’s one of those kids that, as a football player, just loves the contact. He’s what I would call a full speed guy,” said Cole. “Here’s what’s going to sound weird, but his play could be considered unsound or undisciplined in the manner he attacks, but he usually makes the plays. I wouldn’t trade the way he plays with the results he gets for anything because he’s got a nose for being where he’s supposed to be most of the time. He executes what we need him to execute and usually at the most critical of times.”
 
What Cole is talking about is the spin move that Murphy has perfected. It’s not something Cole typically would like to see from his defensive end.
 
“Our defensive goal is to contain and you can lose contain pretty easily when you spin, but it hasn’t hurt us very often,” said Cole. “The positives of him doing that by far outweigh the negatives.”
 
So what created the spin move?
 
Murphy credits senior teammate and lineman Jimmy Allison. It’s Allison who he often goes against in practice and at 6’3 and 295 pounds, Murphy – at 5’10 and 195 pounds – needed to learn some tricks.
 
“I’m not sure exactly how I started doing that, but I know I was always trying to do different things against Jimmy and it helped so I started doing it in games,” said Murphy. “I try to do different things to disrupt plays and put our team in the best position.”
 
While Cole and the Indians miss him on defense, it’s the offense where Murphy was going to start figuring in more prominently as the season wore on. Cole said Murphy’s physical conditioning and ability were at the point where he was going to see more snaps in the offensive backfield to give the starters a needed break.
 
“He wanted to do that and when he did he gave us a bit different element in the backfield because he’s a power guy that’s hard to tackle. You saw what he did against Wheeling Park and we were hoping to use that more as the season went on because he’s a power guy we had hoped to use at fullback,” said Cole.
 
On Friday, he had to watch his team play against Buckhannon-Upshur.  The week before, he stood for the first time since early in his sophomore year on the sidelines.
 
“It was hard to be on the sidelines against Byrd because you watch and you’re mind is thinking of the play you might have been able to make. Honestly, it kind of sucks,” said Murphy. “I just have to stay positive and hope it heals. They tell me it’s week to week so I’m hoping in a few weeks they can get me back on the field where I belong.”
 
The first x-ray on the healing process is this coming week. Whether he’s able to play is up in the air.
 
“Two weeks is the earliest it could be, but it could be longer. I’ve not really been given a definitive time frame,” said Murphy. “The only thing I know for sure is I want to be on the field.”
 
Everyone else wants him out there too. Well, everyone except the Indians’ opponents.
 
Editor's Note: Top photo shows Chapin Murphy on the sidelines during the RCB game, while the second photo shows Murphy leading the team out on the field in the RCB contest. Third photo shows Murphy firing up his team against the Polar Bears, while he takes in a sideline view against the Eagles. In the fifth photo, Murphy is shown coming off a spin move as he approaches the quarterback and at the bottom he heads to the field beside Jimmy Allison, the lineman he's worked on the move in practice against. Photos by www.benqueenphotography.com.


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