Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Xavier Murdy’

Xavier Murdy, the modern-day gold standard. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Now, it’s very likely Xavier Murdy knew what his personal stats were.

He just didn’t seem to waste much time obsessing over them.

What mattered most to the Class of 2022 grad was whether his team came out ahead in the end.

That was what earned the biggest of his grins, as he basked in the afterglow of everything he and his friends accomplished.

Like Coupeville all-timers such as Hunter Smith and Sean Toomey-Stout before him, Xavier has the kind of mentality which would allow him to be a star in any decade.

Old-school guys, whether they hail from the ’70s or the ’50s, would appreciate his utter commitment to putting team above self, to the way he works his rear off, and the way he always stops to acknowledge his fan base.

Xavier’s young cousins, and their friends and teammates, all clambered for his attention.

Like The Man himself, Keanu Reeves, does on an international basis, the lanky Wolf superstar always gave of himself, even when at work.

A smile to the stands, a high five delivered to his coach’s young sons, a hug and a conversation for his niece — a generation of Coupeville kids will head into their own athletic heyday having learned being a good dude is the way to be.

Across the past six years, and numerous teams, Xavier carved out a considerable body of work — one appreciated by coaches, teammates, fans, and even rivals.

There was football and tennis for a moment, and then the three sports he settled on.

On the soccer pitch he was a calm and composed team leader who earned First-Team All-League honors, his impact felt both as a scorer and as a guy willing to do all the dirty work to make sure teammates such as his brother Alex reached their full potential.

First to the ball, always. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

When spring rolled around, Xavier anchored the Wolf baseball team as a tough-nosed catcher who always had a good word for everyone, but also wasn’t afraid to stand in the line of fire and absorb pain while blocking the plate from incoming runners.

He swung a solid stick, was a smart base runner, and again received notice from league coaches when it came time to tally up year-end honors.

But it was on the basketball court where Xavier soared the highest.

Part of a tight-knit band of Wolf players who worked their way up a daunting hill to achieve greatness as seniors, he was the guy who did everything.

Ready to attack. (Mandi Murdy photo)

Xavier could torch the nets, three-balls droppin’ like manna from the heavens, but it wasn’t until his senior season, when Covid threw things asunder, where he really showcased his offensive skills.

He finished his prep days with 482 points, putting him #51 all-time for a program which began play in 1917, his scoring totals going up each season.

But his game was always about much more than just making the nets flip.

Xavier seemed determined to snatch every rebound in sight, come up with every loose ball, take on the toughest defensive assignment, and do all the nitty, gritty little things which are often the difference between wins and losses.

The Marauding Murdy boys delivered 32 minutes of defensive Hell, giving rival ballhandlers PTSD as Xavier and Alex forced turnover after turnover to spur the high-flying Wolf attack.

“You shall not pass!” (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

X faced off with guys who were taller, guys who outweighed him, but none who were as mentally and physically tough.

Sliding his wiry body into tiny gaps, he had an uncanny knack for always getting to the ball, and once the orb was on his fingers, rarely would he lose control of it.

A smart passer who often seemed to take his greatest delight in setting up others for buckets — especially if the guy slapping the ball home was his brother — Xavier is a case study in what it means to be a selfless player.

Fighting through a pandemic, with multiple Covid tests, masks, and players often yanked from the lineup at the last moment, Murdy and Co. crafted a hoops season for the ages this past winter.

The checklist is impressive.

The first league title for a CHS boys basketball team since 2002.

The first district crown since 1970.

The first trip to the state championships since 1988.

Marinating in the moment. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Xavier earned well-deserved MVP honors from Northwest 2B/1B League coaches and became the first Coupeville male hoops star to be tabbed for the All-State game in a decade-plus.

His performance at that all-star contest, where he rattled the rims for 10 points thanks to offensive rebounds, steals, and hustle plays, was vintage X.

A few of his big-name All-State teammates seemed to be preening for the cameras after every shot — even when they clanked the ball off the front of the rim.

Xavier?

One of the few guys on the floor playing full-out defense, taking advantage of every bit of floor time awarded, and earning respect from coaches, who, prior to the game, couldn’t have told you where Coupeville was even located on the map.

As Wolf boys basketball builds a new legacy of success, evoking the play of legends who strode the hardwood in the ’70s, Xavier provided a template for the players coming up behind him.

You might not all become a two-time CHS Male Athlete of the Year like he did, but you can strive to reach for the high bar of success he set.

Hard work isn’t always fun, but making the Coupeville gym rock again for the first time in years makes the toil and sweat worth it.

Be like X.

Play your heart out. Play for team. Play for the name on the front of the jersey.

Doing that has carried Xavier to a destination known as the Coupeville Sports Hall of Fame, and the decision to grant him entry to that hallowed digital shrine is a remarkably easy one.

After this you’ll find him hanging out at the top of the blog under the Legends tab, awaiting the likely arrival of his brother a year from now.

You make the joint classier for your presence, Xavier.

Sharing Homecoming honors with Noelle Daigneault. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Read Full Post »

Three-sport star Carolyn Lhamon is your Coupeville High School female Athlete of the Year for 2021-2022. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Senior Xavier Murdy repeats as the male Athlete of the Year.

A return to glory and a debut in the spotlight.

Senior three-sport star Xavier Murdy became a two-time winner Tuesday when Coupeville High School announced its Athlete of the Year honorees for the 2021-2022 school year.

Joining him was Wolf junior Carolyn Lhamon, who earned her first year-ending honor and will see her photo eventually go up in the CHS gym hallway.

Like Murdy, Lhamon played three sports for Coupeville, anchoring soccer, basketball, and track and field teams.

On the pitch, she was a First-Team All-Conference pick for her play as a midfielder, combining a booming, big-play leg with a rough-and-tumble defensive mentality.

Moving into winter, Lhamon patrolled the paint for Coupeville’s hoops squad, crashing the glass hard in her third varsity season.

Lhamon powers to the hoop.

This spring, she put a cap on things by qualifying for the state track meet in two vastly different events, earning a trip to Cheney to compete in both the 4 x 100 relay and shot put.

Murdy, who was an Athlete of the Year winner as a junior, when he shared the honor with Chelsea Prescott, put together a strong swan song.

He opened the school year by matching Lhamon’s performance, also being tabbed as a First-Team All-Conference player for his work as a midfielder on the Wolf soccer squad.

Spring brought Murdy more honors, when he was acknowledged as a Second-Team All-League pick for his work behind the plate for CHS baseball.

But winter put the exclamation point on his bid to join the relatively short list of Wolves who have won their school’s biggest athletic award more than once.

Murdy makes the net pop.

Murdy paced Coupeville basketball in almost every stat category, copping Northwest 2B/1B League MVP as he played a key role for a program which enjoyed its best performance in decades.

The Wolf hoops squad finished 16-2, winning its first league title since 2002.

Murdy and Co. also claimed the program’s first district title since 1970 and advanced to state for the first time since 1988, where they pushed hoops heavyweights Kalama and Lake Roosevelt to the final buzzer.

Based on his hardwood play, Murdy became the first Wolf boy in at least a decade-and-a-half to be invited to participate in the All-State basketball game, where he scored 10 points in a 115-95 win.

Read Full Post »

Sage Sharp was one of five CHS seniors to play their final home baseball game Friday. (Morgan White photo)

The end is here.

Well, at least one end.

The Coupeville High School varsity baseball team still has one last regular season game on the road to play, and then at least one playoff game.

But Friday marked the final time this season the Wolves will compete on their home field.

Playing on their own diamond for the final time, five CHS players had the moment captured on film by a bevy of snap-happy photographers.

Cody Roberts and family. (Morgan White photo)

L to r: Cole Hutchinson, Hawthorne Wolfe, Xavier Murdy, Sharp, Roberts. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Cole Hutchinson and his fan club. (Morgan White photo)

Xavier Murdy and associates. (Morgan White photo)

Wolf coach Will Thayer joins the celebration. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Hawthorne Wolfe offers a final goodbye. (Morgan White photo)

Read Full Post »

Jack Porter and Coupeville bounced Friday Harbor to move into first place in the Northwest 2B/1B League. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Is there anything sweeter than hearing the fans of a rival team getting really, really quiet?

You know, that moment when all the bluster turns into sweet, sweet tears as the guys and gals in the wrong colors realize their ferry ride home is going to be a long, sad one.

Such was the plight for Friday Harbor fans Wednesday afternoon, as the sun faded over the prairie, and their baseball team’s unblemished league record got all dinged up.

Bushwhacked 11-8 by a Coupeville hardball squad which played fast, loose, and dangerous all day, the Wolverines fell out of first place in the Northwest 2B/1B League for the first time this season.

Now it’s the real Wolves, the ones sporting black and red, who sit atop the seven-team conference at 9-1 in league play, 11-5 overall.

Friday Harbor falls a half-game back at 8-1, and Coupeville’s win all but assures the teams will meet for a third time — at a neutral site — to decide which school will claim the NWL’s only berth to the 2B state tourney.

For now, the Wolves will briefly bask in the win, then immediately hit the road to play a non-conference tilt Thursday at South Whidbey.

Senior Night against Orcas Island is Friday, with a May 3 trip to Darrington wrapping the regular season.

Wednesday’s royal rumble under rare sunny skies meant everything for Coupeville, as a Friday Harbor win would have clinched that trip to state for the visitors.

The Wolverines stole a 3-2 win the first time around, courtesy a late-game meltdown by the CHS pitching staff, but the rematch was a different story.

Coupeville hurlers Hawthorne Wolfe and Scott Hilborn largely held Friday Harbor at bay, getting into a few sticky spots at times, but almost always finding a way back out.

That was true from the get-go, as the visitors loaded the bags in the top of the first when what would have been an inning-ending third strike kicked away from CHS catcher Xavier Murdy.

Showing no nerves, Hawk nodded.

X nodded.

And the duo promptly punched out the next batter to end things with the first sob breaking loose from the throat of a Friday Harbor fan.

Sparked by the wham-bam ending, the Wolves jumped on the Wolverines for three runs in the bottom half of the frame.

Wolfe singled, Jonathan Valenzuela walked, Hilborn beat out a chopper, then Murdy whacked a ball back up the middle which Friday Harbor misplayed into a two-run error.

After that Coupeville proved it didn’t know how to flinch, with Peyton Caveness and Sage Sharp both gritting their teeth as wayward pitches found random body parts.

Peyton Caveness reached base three times in the win.

Sharp’s walk the hard way pushed the lead out to 3-0 and gave a brief glimmer of hope that CHS might just 10-run the Wolverines.

Alas, it wasn’t to be, as Friday Harbor scraped its way back into the game, dumping three runs on the board in the second, and another tally in the third to reclaim the lead.

But, just as Friday Harbor fans started to puff out their chests and let loose with a lot of pro-Wolverine chatter, Coupeville punctured their dreams.

A couple of hits, a couple of walks, and a lot of aggressive running on the basepaths — which provoked Friday Harbor errors both physical and mental — allowed CHS to bolt back in front at 8-4 through three frames.

That was a lead the Wolves would never lose.

Friday Harbor sliced the margin to 8-5 in the fourth, then 8-7 through the top of the fifth, but time and again Coupeville proved resilient.

Wolfe sliced an RBI single to center to push the lead back to two runs, before the Wolves slapped home twice on face-first dives into home in the bottom of the sixth.

Murdy came crashing home hard on a wild pitch to make it 10-7, before Caveness hugged the plate after Cody Roberts bopped a long sac fly.

Down to their final outs, the visitors got one more run in the top of the seventh but watched their final baserunner wilt as Hilborn bore down to slam the door.

First he induced a groundout to Valenzuela at third, who came up with a gorgeous throw.

As the ball snapped into the waiting glove at first, there were “oohs” and “ahs” from Coupeville fans, and a “sweet son of a goat lickin’ whore!!” (or something close) from an especially-peeved Friday Harbor rooter.

Think how that dude felt when Hilborn erased the final batter with a strikeout, the bat missing the ball by a healthy six to eight inches?

Oh, enough sweet, salty Friday Harbor tears to fill all the bathtubs in Coupeville tonight!

 

Wednesday stats:

Peyton Caveness — 2 singles, 1 walk
Scott Hilborn — 1 single
Xavier Murdy — 2 singles
Cody Roberts — 1 walk
Sage Sharp — 1 single, 2 walks
Jonathan Valenzuela — 1 walk¬†
Cole White — 1 single, 1 walk
Hawthorne Wolfe — 3 singles

Hawthorne Wolfe smacked three hits Wednesday, and got the win as a pitcher.

Read Full Post »

Scott Hilborn ignores the screams behind him and corrals a pop-up. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

The sun was out, the ball was jumping off the bats, and the cameras were clicking.

The Coupeville High School varsity baseball squad pounded visiting Concrete in both games of a doubleheader Tuesday and photo clicker John Fisken was on hand to document the game one whuppin’.

The pics above and below are courtesy him, but there’s more.

To see everything Fisken shot, and ponder the possibility of purchasing some glossies for Gram and Gramps in Gig Harbor, pop over to:

https://www.johnsphotos.net/Sports/Coupeville-Baseball-2021-2022/BB-2022-04-19-Coupeville-vs-Concrete/

 

Peyton Caveness gets down with his bad self.

Craig Anderson remembers a time when players pulled their dang pants up and wore stirrups on the diamond.

Jack Porter watches the ball soar to the heavens.

Cody Roberts deals.

Super fan Morgan White enjoys a rare sunny spring day on the prairie.

Xavier Murdy comes in hot.

“That’s it. No more photos, you bums. The exit is that way!”

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »