The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


January 18, 2014

Harold Raker's high school wrestling column: Mifflinburg's Murray happily returns

At the end of a 16-2 season as Mifflinburg's wrestling coach, and with plenty of talent returning, Dave Murray stunned the wrestling community in March of 2012 by walking away.

Perhaps if he were a mathematics teacher, instead of social studies, Murray might have stayed.

His decision to return after a one-year hiatus was influenced in part by one of his former high school coaches, 1980 state champion Wade Potter.

"My old coach at Jersey Shore, Wade Potter, told me 'You get 24 hours in a day and you've got to fill those with something," Murray said.

After a year off, Potter's comments made him think that he could do it all, without sacrificing quality in any area.

He talked to his wife about a possible return. "Since my son is into wrestling now and we're working out mornings with him, and his elementary buddies come to the house and train, I thought, 'Well, I can fit those into that 24 hours in a day.

"So I said, 'Let's give it another try, as long as I keep my priorities right: God, family, school, and then wrestling.'''

One reason for leaving the program, he said, was that there were a lot of times that he had problems keeping those priorities straight.

He said one of the coaches he talked to and looks up to was Line Mountain's Mike Martz, who similarly took a season off a few years ago. "He's a class act, that guy," Murray said.

As passionate as Murray is about the sport, he conceded that the year off from coaching was not tough. "I enjoyed being with my family and I really took full advantage of it."

But he attended the matches and said that, while watching the Wildcats compete in the postseason and going to states, "I couldn't shut up. I was yelling from the stands telling them what they could do on the edge.

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