This week has been one of celebration for the Harding High football team.
The team had a pep rally to honor its first state championship team since 1953. And how improbable was that state title? Well, just two years ago, Harding was 1-10. Since reaching the state final in 1987, Harding had been one of the least successful teams in the area.
But the week has been particularly celebratory for Harding coach Sam Greiner and quarterback Braheam Murphy. Greiner was named Associated Press all-state coach of the year and the Charlotte Observer coach of the year. Murphy has been fitted for a championship ring and looks forward to a college career he couldn’t have thought possible just two years ago. Murphy has also been selected to be the guest “Keep Pounding” drummer before Sunday’s Carolina NFL home with Tampa Bay.
We thought it would be good to take readers back through a series of stories the Observer did on Murphy, Greiner and the Rams, leading up to the national TV moment.
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▪ 1. The story began two years ago, but the Observer picked up on it in October of 2016, when Greiner told the story of how he had to tell Murphy he was ineligible to play athletics and how he found out Murphy really didn’t have a home – and eventually how Murphy asked him to live with Greiner, his wife and his two young children. Story here
▪ 2. In May, Murphy’s hard work in the classroom and the field began to pay off. He got a scholarship offer from Army, where he would sign in December. Story here
▪ 3. In November, the Observer chronicled how Greiner put together a champion – through faith, love, hope and help from a big local church. Story here.
▪ 4. Finally, Harding wins the N.C. 4A state championship and Murphy – who ran for the put-away touchdown (photo above) – is named his team’s offensive MVP. Story here.
The CNN Video
And here is the CNN video that chronicled the story for a national audience.