MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) – “It feels good to have the kids back, I’m excited they’re here,” said Murphy football coach Rico Jackson.
The Murphy Panthers are back on the field for voluntary summer workouts. Things are certainly different this year with new COVID-19 health precautions in place, but there’s also high expectations for this Murphy team.
“Year two is much different, the kids are starting to coach themselves and lead themselves. That’s always a sign you have a good football team,” said Coach Jackson.
Following a pair of 3-7 seasons, Murphy turned things around under Coach Jackson last year, making the playoffs in 7A Region 1.
“It felt great, we’ve never had that feeling. Last year was my first year going to the playoffs,” said Jaylin Haston.
“The kids around school were happy for us,” said Michael McKinnis. “Going 3-7, that wasn’t a good look for us. Making the playoffs made the school happy, people were cheering for us more and we had more crowds at our games.”
The team is looking to build off last year’s momentum to help get Murphy back among the top teams in our area.
“Murphy has had a tradition of winning. From Terry Curtis and Ronn Lee to everyone in between, we just want to build on that tradition and stabilize the program to where we’re a perennial playoff team and competing for region and state championships,” said Coach Jackson.
“When we were young everyone wanted to play for Murphy,” said McKinnis. “We had K.J. Maye and the guys that went here, they made a good look for the school and we want to keep that going.”