Hopewell tailback ready to replace state's all-time rusher
By Chris Harlan
Published: Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012, 7:58 p.m.
Hopewell tailback Adam Murray must replace the greatest high school rusher in state history.
And he's fine with that.
“I like all that pressure,” Murray said. “We'll see what happens.”
The Vikings are prepared for their first season following the Rushel Shell era, a four-year period highlighted by broken WPIAL, state and national records. Now a freshman at Pitt, Shell topped a talented graduating class that included quarterback Nolan Harmotto and fullback Zach Romah.
“It was a strange feeling,” Murray said of the first summer workouts without them. “I basically played with them my whole life, but now everyone has to step up.”
Murray, a senior, has done his part to make the transition move smoothly.
“He's a really hard worker and a very good leader,” Hopewell coach Dave Vestal said. “I've seen a difference in him since the beginning of the summer. He's focused. I think he's on a mission, saying: ‘I know Rushel has been here the last four years, but now it's my turn.'
“There's a sense that he's taking over the ship, and making sure we're headed in the right direction.”
Senior Stefan Mrkonja will replace Harmotto at quarterback. Only four defensive starters remain from last season's playoff team, and three on offense. A few others saw considerable minutes. They include inside linebacker/fullback Mike Tempalski (5-11, 210), receiver/defensive back Arion Sepp (6-2, 180) and two linemen, Acantay Patton (6-3, 215) and Nick McCracken (6-2, 210). Murray (6-0, 200) also plays outside linebacker.
“It's going to be a challenge,” Vestal said. “We need to keep growing each week.”
The key could be its defense. The Vikings would like to slow games, limit scoring and use a ball-control offense that features Murray.
“Playing better defense would allow us to control the tempo of the game,” Vestal said.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic captures 1st PIAA championship in OT thriller
- PIAA postpones Saturday’s championship games
- Central Catholic prepares for St. Joseph’s physical, skilled offense
- Gateway football to join AAA ranks
- South Fayette hopes for better result than 2010 PIAA Class AA final
- Southmoreland football season was filled with peaks, valleys
- Knoch two-way lineman anticipates more offers from Division I schools
- Gateway football coach Militzer won’t return
- Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic sees a little of itself in Old Forge