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One for the record books

The runner who changed Texas High track history

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One for the record books

Story by Joseph Rodgers, editor in chief

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While the Tigers and the Razorbacks clashed on the field back in September, a special guest looked down on the famous rivalry. 1979 Texas High graduate Eference Murphy made a special appearance at the game and ran the timer for the 103rd Battle of the Axe.

“I’m on a crew and I told them [that if] they need me and I don’t have a game, I don’t mind coming [to run the clock],” Murphy said. “I’m retired but I appreciate Thursday and Friday night games that just try to keep my body in shape and my bones strong.”

Those strong bones enabled Murphy to become one of the fastest track runners in Texas High history. His name still survives on the record board to this day.

“I set the 100-meter record in 1978 when I was just a junior,” Murphy said. “That was 40 years ago, and it is still there now.”

Murphy acknowledges that his close relationship with his new track coach helped turned the Texas High track program around.

“I stay at the school now because I [ran] those Texas relays,” Murphy said. “I ran the 100, 200, and all of the relays. We had an awesome coach who changed the entire program around and that’s why now I think I was so successful in running track for Texas High. I met a lot of friends by running track, [and they are] great friends that I still keep in touch with today.”

Murphy not only ran track, but he also played football after he received a college scholarship to play.

“I didn’t receive any offers in track but I did receive offers for playing football because I also played football here as well,” Murphy said. “I still ran track in college but my scholarship was in football [since] I was a wide receiver.”

I’m doing great and I thank God everyday for giving me a second chance at life. I appreciate football to keep my body in shape just in little ways, and eat right.”

— Eference Murphy

Beyond sports, Murphy continued his goals at Texas A&M University-College Station.

“It was fun [being an Aggie] because of the traditions and the Gig ’em signs,” Murphy said. “I majored in history and physical education and worked at a paper mill.”

Five years ago, Murphy had a heart transplant after having congestive heart failure which he says changed his outlook on life. He now tells his story to everyone he knows and explains that being an ex-athlete does not exempt you from having health problems.

“I just give my testimony to people that recognize me and ask what I’m doing. I would reply with ‘Nothing, just refereeing,’ and they would ask me, ‘Man, why you, you were a good athlete?’ But I said it doesn’t matter how good I was, it can hit anybody,” Murphy said. “[Now], I’m doing great and I thank God everyday for giving me a second chance at life. I appreciate football to keep my body in shape just in little ways, and eat right.”

Although Murphy values doing what you love, he maintains his belief that a higher authority should take precedence.

“Just enjoy doing what’s makes you happy,” Murphy said. “But always put God first.”

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About the Contributor
Joseph Rodgers, editor in chief

Joseph Rodgers is a senior at Texas High School who, for some reason, enjoys not having any free time and basically lives at the school. As the other online...

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