Ethan Murray to Duke
Every fall, the Miller School of Albemarle baseball team holds an intersquad weight lifting competition. While it is unofficial, the members of the team take this annual fitness and strength challenge seriously. The most hotly contested event is the squat competition--a simple test of who can put up the most weight in a single squat while maintaining perfect form. One might assume that the biggest member of the team would put up the most weight. However, this year, senior pitcher and infielder, Ethan Murray, who weighs in at just over one hundred and seventy pounds, lifted a remarkable four hundred and five pounds. His Herculean effort is a good representation of Ethan’s drive as an athlete and student. He exceeds expectations and leads by example.
Ethan Murray has been a member of the MSA baseball team for four years. His last time on the mound as a Maverick was this past spring when he pitched in the team’s state championship victory. This winter, he was accepted to Duke University where he will play for the school’s Division 1 baseball team. While his focus remains on a successful spring season as a Maverick, his plans for next year as a student and athlete have impressed his teammates and classmates alike.
Over the past two years, Ethan has quietly caught the attention of coaches at top-tier colleges and universities. “Ethan combines supreme athleticism with a keen intellect. He is a genuine scholar-athlete, and he will certainly make meaningful contributions at Duke, both on the field and in the classroom,” commented baseball coach, Dr. John Lewellen.
While his path to Duke may seem perfectly scripted, it was not always Ethan’s plan to play Division 1 baseball. “When I first came to MSA, I was surrounded by numerous D1 players; I never expected that I’d accomplish what they did during their time on the Hill. My first few years at MSA were centered around developing my academic skills as well as my fundamental baseball skills without too much worry about any college plans,” remarked Ethan.
His focus on fundamentals provided him the opportunity to discover his own talents. His stats on the field improved, and he started to get noticed by college scouts around the country. This is no surprise based on the numbers he produced last season: Batting average of .464, with 45 hits, 42 RBIs, and 5 home runs. On the mound, he had an earned run average of .47, 9 wins, and 76 strikeouts. This garnered him first-team All-State and first-team All-Conference honors as well as the D2 Player of the Year.
It was during the summer months before his junior year that Duke’s baseball coach, Mr. Pollard, noticed Ethan at a tournament. Within a few weeks of this tournament, Ethan was in a car with his family driving to Durham to give Coach Pollard and the Duke Athletic department a verbal commitment to begin playing as a Blue Devil in 2018. “Attending Duke as a student will be one of the most exciting intellectual adventures of my life. Coupling the outstanding academic opportunity with the chance to play baseball for Coach Pollard is a dream come true. I feel fortunate to be in this position and grateful to my coaches and teachers at MSA for preparing me for this next step in my academic and athletic journey.”
While Ethan is capable of throwing laser-like fastballs on the baseball diamond, it is his laser-sharp intellect that impresses his teachers. As he does in baseball, Ethan focuses on the fundamentals in the classroom. “He is studious, prepared, and hard-working. His writing and comments in class demonstrate that he is deeply grounded in the works we are reading and has great intellectual curiosity,” commented Jay Kauffmann, English Department Chair.
Duke may or may not have an intersquad weight-lifting competition; however, there is little doubt that Ethan Murray will lift the Blue Devils to new heights as a student and athlete next fall.