Athlete of the Week: Jake Murphy

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Jake Murphy (top) is 21-1 this season.
(Photo by Seaford School District)

Jake Murphy is nearly unstoppable. He’s slick, determined and most of all, a champion.

The Seaford High School sophomore is agile on the mat. He understands how to win. And that’s basically all he’s done for the Seaford boy’s varsity wrestling squad this season.

Murphy is 21-1 since the season started in late 2018. Fresh off capturing the Schoolboy 91 weight class championship in 2017, his confidence is at an all-time high.

“It meant everything,” Murphy said. “The year before, I came in second to a kid that I once beat. It was nice to win last year. It motivated more.”

When Murphy finished runner-up in the state, his determination soared. He accepted the challenge. It was time to become a champion.

His work ethic improved greatly. He now trains at least 20 hours a week, in addition to spending an extra two days each week wrestling outside of the school.

“Last year, Jake was a county champion and finished one win short of being All-State,” Seaford wrestling coach Dave Takseraas said. “This year, his goal is to be All-State. He’s had a tremendous season so far and I am excited to see him achieve his goal.”

The dedication Murphy has shown turned him into a leader for the Vikings. At 113 pounds, he’s gained weight and moved into a heavier class. He’s more powerful than ever.

“Before my match, I always have a warm-up to make sure I’m ready to wrestle,” Murphy said. “My partner and I just do drills and different moves, so I get a nice sweat going before I get to the mat. It’s about 20 minutes or so.”

That warm-up helps Murphy plenty. It enables him to have an advantage over his opponents, one he feels is a factor in his amazing season.

“When I’m winning a match, I won’t give up,” he said. “If I have the lead, I’ll make sure I win.”

So how did Murphy start wrestling? Well, it’s all in the family.

His older brother began to wrestle in high school himself. From there, the younger Murphy followed suit. He had to be in the ring and he had to be the best.

Overall, he now has more than 80 wins. While he still has plenty of time to choose a university, one thing is for sure: He will be wrestling in college.

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