Offensive Line Profile: Jacob Murry

Left Guard Jacob Murry Is Excited to Take on West

Jack Bacon, Reporter

City High Football’s starting left guard is a man of many names: “Murr-dog.” “Big Hoss.” “Darth Murry Shrek.” Before him stands a familiar obstacle: nine games of 4A varsity football, including a battle against crosstown rival and second-ranked Iowa City West. Though he’s only a junior, for Jacob Murry ’19 this is nothing new.

“It was a great experience getting to know a lot of the upperclassmen last year,” said Murry. “It’s a different feeling now that I’m back with my own class. It still feels kind of odd.”

Murry, who started on the offensive line as a sophomore, says that his experience with last year’s team gives him an edge this season.

“I do have more experience than anyone else at my position. The fact that I started last year and I’m starting again this year gives me that much of a head start,” says Murry. “I feel a lot more confident in everything that I’m doing.”

Murry says now that he is familiar with the varsity setting, he is able to focus all of his attention on the task at hand without worrying about learning a new system. Still, on a team with only three returning starters, he says many things have changed since last year.

“Definitely some things have changed from last year. We’ve changed the way we’ve approached practice… we’re platooning this year, so as an O-linemen, I am only [practicing] at that position, so I don’t get confused with any of the defensive plays or anything like that,” Murry said. “It’s definitely a different approach than last year.”

With only three games in the books so far–a season opening victory against Linn-Mar and two losses against Pleasant Valley and Ames–there is still a lot of football left in the season.

“I’m really looking forward to West,” Murry said. “It’s just one of those games that you know is gonna be one heck of a game. I’m sure of that.”

He doesn’t have to wait much longer. The Little Hawks take on West High this Friday on Bates Field. Murry has already faced the Trojans on many occasions. Not only did he play in the Boot Game last year, Murry has been a varsity wrestler for the Little Hawks since his freshman year. This means he’s had many opportunities to compete with West High in a Varsity setting.

“Beating your rival school is one of the most important things to any athlete. Beating your rival… shows you that you can do what you need to do,” Murry says. “Having gone up against West many times, it gives me a sense of security knowing that we’ve beaten them before and we can beat them again.”

Coming into the season, the biggest question mark for the Little Hawks was probably  offensive line play. But Murry–City High’s only returning starter on the offensive line–says his position group has shown signs of potential.

“We may not be the biggest line out there,” Murry said, “but we still have big enough guys to get the job done.”

Murry says the line still has to improve in some ways, including getting off of the ball faster and moving their feet. He credits the addition of new offensive line coach James Piper with bringing a new approach to how City’s offensive line conducts practice.

“We all have great potential and I know we have the ability to win,”Murry said. “We just have to buy in and push ourselves.” 

But what about the question on everyone’s mind: how did he get those nicknames?

Jacob Murry isn’t talking.

“They call me Darth Murry Shrek because I’m Darth Murry Shrek. Deal with it, dog.”