For a list of the other Gatorade State Cross Country Runner of the Year winners, click here.
THE WINNER: Will Murphey
School: Oak Grove (Hattiesburg, Miss.)
Athletic achievement: He raced to a second consecutive Class 6A individual state championship this past season with a time of 16:29, leading the Warriors to fifth place as a team. A returning Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame POPStars Award winner, Murphey concluded the season unbeaten against in-state competition.
Academic excellence: Also a track standout and an accomplished musician, Murphey has maintained an A average in the classroom.
Exemplary character: He has volunteered on behalf of his church’s youth group and as part of construction efforts on the Lamar County running and walking track. He has served as a page on Mississippi State Senator John Polk’s staff.
“Will is a very smart runner,” said Oak Grove head coach Robin Ryder. “He knows his competition well and knows what he needs to do to make sure he’s in contention to win. Will is able to finish races with a vicious kick that very few can catch.”
THE FUTURE: Murphey will begin his senior year of high school this fall.
Visit the Gatorade Player of the Year homepage by clicking here.