Members of the school community said they were shocked by Murray’s death.
“I can’t comprehend what happened,” said one parent.
Taylor Coughlin, a 16-year-old junior at the school, told The (Easton) Express-Times that she had first met Murray in the seventh grade. She said he was “an amazing student and an amazing athlete. He stood out in his athletics, his academics — everything.” Murray also was a standout baseball player and basketball player.
Coughlin said many students first learned of Murray’s injury and death through social media postings.
“A lot of people were in disbelief and didn’t want to believe it,” she said.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and the New York Jets football team were among dozens of people and groups from around the country who posted condolences via social media Saturday.
“It’s a tragedy and our heartfelt condolences to the family and the whole Warren Hills community,” NJSIAA spokesman Michael Cherenson said on behalf of the statewide athletics association in reaction to Murray’s passing.
Murray’s girlfriend Bailey Reyes was among those who left notes at the Warren football field. Others left flowers with the pile growing as the day went on.
Reyes also posted a touching tribute on Instagram.
Summit schools Superintendent June Chang said he and other district officials met with the Summit football team on Saturday morning, so the coaches and players could speak about what happened. They also provided them with information on support services.
A GoFundMe fundraiser for the family was started Saturday and has raised more than $20,000 by early evening.
According to the University of North Carolina’s National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research, 77 high school football players have died nationwide as the result of injuries directly related to the game in the past two decades.
The center reported five direct fatalities on the scholastic gridiron last season, during which about 1.1 million high school players competed, according to National Federation of State High School Association data. Direct fatalities are classified as deaths that occurred as the result of competition.
The center also reported that five high school football player fatalities occurred last season outside of extertional activities (four athletes died at home and one unknown), The center attributed the suspected cause of those deaths to cardiomyopathy, arrhythmia, and unknown cardiac (issues).
USA TODAY High School Sports contributed to this report.