The young offense of the Murphy Bulldogs was on fire on Tuesday in their first round playoff game against Pine Lake Preparatory on Tuesday, but it just was not meant to be as the Dogs were eliminated from the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 1a State Playoffs, 12-7.
Murphy jumped out to an early lead thanks to Freshman Dawson Hensely, who doubled to left field on the first pitch of his at bat in the first inning and brought home Kellen Rumfelt and gave Murphy the 1-0 lead. After the Dogs gave up a run in the top of the second, Kellen Rumfelt was the man to really get things going as he doubled on the first pitch of his at bat to right field and brought home Payton McCraken and Josh Ott, giving the Dogs a 3-1 lead over Pine Lake Prep.
However in the third inning Pine Lake Prep took the lead for good and never looked back as they tacked on 3 and then added 6 more runs in the 5th inning. The Murphy Bulldogs would not go away quietly though, as they gave PLP a run for their money in the bottom of the seventh inning, scoring 4 runs and making the final score 12-7.
Kellen Rumfelt was given the start on the mound for the bulldogs as he went 3.1 innings and allowed 4 hits and 6 runs while striking out 4 and walking 5. Dawson Hensley and Jesse Kephart came on in relief, as Hensely threw 1.0 inning allowing 4 hits and 4 runs while walking 2, and Kephart threw 2.2 innings while giving up 2 hits and 2 runs while striking out 1 and walking 1.
The Dogs ended up with 8 hits in the game thanks to Braden and Kellen Rumfelt, McCraken, Hensley who all had 2 hits on the day.
The Dogs fought hard all season and proved a lot of nay sayers wrong, as the narrative all year was that they were too young to win any games and this season would just be a wash. That was not the case however, as a team who at the end of the year had no starting seniors on it, finished 13-5 and second in the SMC standings and made an appearance in the playoffs. This team will be really fun to watch in the coming years and we cannot wait to see them back in action next year.
The Murphy Bulldogs went up against the Rosman Tigers on Thursday at home, and were not ever really able to get any offense going, as they lost 11-0 to Rosman, the top team in the SMC.
Thursday evening game was between the 2 best teams in the Smokey Mountain Conference, and unfortunately the Dogs were just caught on an off night in their biggest regular season game of the year. Rosman got the offense rolling in the 1st inning, as they scored on a wild pitch, taking an early lead. It was all down hill from there for the Dogs as Rosman wound up pouring it on in the 5th inning, scoring 6 and sending the Dogs home early as the mercy rule took effect.
Payton McCraken and Joe Swain were pretty much the only bright spots in the Murphy offense as they both collected 2 hits a piece. Errors were the story of the day on defense for the Dogs as they got decent innings out of Josh Ott who started the day on the mound, but its hard to keep a team like Rosman from putting up runs when you have 5 self inflicted errors.
The Dogs have another conferece home game against Andrews on Monday, April 29th.
The Murphy Bulldogs went up against the Robbinsville Black Knights on Tuesday and thanks to some stellar work on the mound by Kellen Rumfelt, they were able to grab a conference win over a Robbinsville team who had stolen one from them earlier in the season.
Kellen Rumfelt started and finished the day on the rubber for the Bulldogs, and what a day it was for the kid as he threw 5 no hit innings. He started off hot tossing 2 strikeouts to the final 2 batters of the first inning after forcing a ground ball to the first batter he faced. Things only got better from there as he ended the day with 5 strikeouts and 1 walk. He threw 70 total pitches with 44 of those being strikes and was able to get the complete game win after the Bulldog offense quickly put up a 10 spot on the Knights.
The Dogs offense was ignited once again by Briggs Cornwell as he laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt and scored 2. In the fifth inning Caleb Allen and Braden Rumfelt knocked in a couple of RBIs for Murphy as they scored 4 runs and the game was called due to the mercy rule taking effect.
The Dogs collected 10 hits on the day thanks to Dawson Hensley and Payton McCraken who both had a multiple hit day. Kellen Rumfelt, Briggs Cornwell, Caleb Allen, Jesse Kephart, and Josh Ott all were able to put the ball in play against the Black Knights.
The Murphy Bulldogs baseball team found themselves in a tight one once again in the final inning of the game in Transylvania County, but they found a way once again and rode out of Rosman victorious, handing the Tigers their first SMC loss of the season and putting them in a tie with the Tigers for first place in the SMC.
The Bulldogs trailed 5-4 with one out in the seventh inning, when Briggs Cornwell stepped up to the plate and cranked a 2 run homer to left field that came on a 1-1 count, scoring Kellen Rumfelt who had singled to first earlier in the inning. This isn’t the first time that Cornwell has came through in the clutch, as he has also helped the Bulldogs pull off late game victories over the Hayesville Yellow Jackets and the Swain County Maroon Devils. Cornwell and Rumfelt always seem to be in the right place at the right time late in the game and have been 2 of the key players in keeping the Bulldogs at the top of the SMC this year.
Josh Ott led things off for the Bulldogs on the rubber, going 4 innings and striking out 2, while allowing 7 hits and 5 runs. Dawson Hensley came in on relief in the 5th inning, allowing only one hit and striking out 3 in his near perfect outing. Parker Mullen went 7 innings for the Tigers allowing 6 runs on 10 hits while striking out 2 and walking 1.
Kellen Rumfelt and Briggs Cornwell racked up multiple hits for the Dogs, with Rumfelt going 2-4 with 2 runs and Cornwell going 3-4 with 2 home runs and 4 RBIs. Dawson Hensely and Caleb Allen also drove in runs for the Bulldogs.
The 2019 Murphy Baseball team overcame an 8-1 deficit against the Hayesville Yellow Jackets on Tuesday night with the help of Briggs Cornwell’s hot bat; Then turn around and mercy rule the Cherokee Braves on Thursday to move to 3-0 in SMC play.
This past Tuesday evening at Konehete park, the Bulldogs found themselves in a 8-1 hole. The Bulldogs stayed patient in the fourth, scoring 4 runs after a couple walks and a Briggs Cornwell 2 RBI double to right.
Heading into the bottom of the 5th the Dogs still found themselves down by a single run, 8-7. With 2 quick outs already in the inning, Lukas Barolet saw his chance on a passed ball and scored from 3rd on a wild pitch tying the game up and giving the Dogs a chance for a 2 out rally with Cornwell back up to the plate after a Dawson Hensley walk. Cornwell took advantage of the opportunity with ducks on the pond, singling up the middle and driving in the go ahead run and allowing Kellen Rumfelt to advance to third and score on a wild pitch giving the Bulldogs a 10-8 lead heading into the 6th.
A game as exciting as this one had to end with a little flare and it certainly did, as Hayesville’s Connor Bradley hit a deep triple to right field that scored Hunter Baldwin and cut the Bulldogs lead to 1 in the final inning of play. After Hayesville’s coach Jeff Vardo saw Murphy pitcher Lukas Barolet throw a few balls to Jeremy Stewart he played an agressive hand and sent Bradley home from 3rd on a passed ball, only for the Dogs to make an outstanding play at the plate and record the 2nd out of the inning. Barolet composed himself on the mound and struck out the final batter of the game, adding another W to the Dogs win column and sending the Yellow Jackets home with a 1-3 record.
After the nail biter on Tuesday, Murphy gave their fans a break in the following game against Cherokee, led by Caleb Allens 4 for 4 day. The Bulldogs had 4 players with multiple hits in the 16-1 blowout over the Braves, including Braden Rumfelt, Payton McCraken, Briggs Cornwell and Caleb Allen. The onslaught was sparked by Cornwells 1st inning 2 run homerun. Kellen Rumfelt was on the mound for the Dogs and allowed 2 hits and 1 run through 4 innings while fanning 2 Cherokee hitters.
The Bulldogs are 3-1 on the year with the only blemish on their record coming from their opener against Franklin.
Murphy High School is known for having quality academics and talented athletes. With a decorated history of state champions in literally every sport but hockey, this past weekend another Murphy athlete brought yet another state championship back to the Dawg House. And if you’re scratching your head – no, Murphy doesn’t have a hockey team – but if they did, the Bulldogs would probably find a way to win at that, too.
TeamFYNSports has the pleasure of tracking and covering athletic performances throughout nine North Georgia counties and Cherokee Co, NC. While we interact with coaches, athletes, and college scouts on a daily basis, the best part of our job lies in the opportunity to highlight young athletes in a positive way. Thankfully there’s a 195-lb senior at MHS that made our job a whole lot easier this week.
Cory Farmer could be seen making big hits on the football field earlier in the school year. The veteran middle linebacker was the heart of what many would argue was one of the very best defenses in the state of North Carolina. When his high school football career ended, he transitioned from knocking people down at the line of scrimmage to throwing them and pinning them on the wrestling mats.
A natural athlete, Farmer is no stranger to hard work. He put in countless hours of training with MHS head coach Daniel Ledford, his father Josh Farmer, and his teammates; learning and working within one of the most decorated high school wrestling programs in all of Western North Carolina (not to mention North Georgia and Eastern Tennessee).
Last year, Farmer was the state runner-up. Just two weeks ago, he finished third at the regional tournament. Winning state was never a guarantee.
At the 1A NCHSAA state wrestling tournament, Farmer’s resume was as impressive as his humble – yet hungry attitude. He came in with 24 wins and only two losses this season, and opened Day One with a big win over Dylan Jones (32-11), who nearly finished 3rd overall. Jones, a senior at Uwharrie Charter, lost the battle for 3rd place by a 2-0 decision from Farmer’s next victim (Edwards, EASU).
After defeating Jones in just two minutes and 39 seconds, Farmer locked up with top-seeded junior Mitchell Edwards of East Surry. Edwards also had only two losses coming into state, and had 28 wins to his merit. Farmer won a 3-2 decision in one of the most exciting matches of the entire event, advancing to the championship final.
Farmer went on to defeat senior Jonathan Zafra of Manteo with a 12-3 majority decision to claim the state championship crown.
“It feels real good and it’s a relief after being runner up last year,” Farmer told TeamFYNSports Sunday afternoon.
We asked if he was considering wrestling at the college level next year. “I’m not sure yet, but I have a few offers,” Farmer replied. With his skillset and his work ethic, we look forward to reporting in the future on Farmer’s final decision after high school.
All photos courtesy of Murphy High School Wrestling and Brandy Farmer, contributing photographer.
The Murphy Lady Bulldogs have been nothing short of legendary this season, but that’s nothing new for them. Last year the varsity girls went 26-2, falling by only one point in the Elite 8 to the eventual state champions.
“I couldn’t ask for a better team. They work extremely hard and do everything asked of them,” Murphy head coach Ray Gutierrez told TeamFYNSports last week. This week was no exception.
The Lady Bulldogs (18-1, 7-0) kicked last week off with a 52-32 win on the road at Hayesville, followed by a 74-26 road win over Andrews.
Sydni Addison, the ball hawk of the night, had seven steals on defense, scored six points and pulled in seven rebounds.
How do you beat two great wins on the road? You turn around and win two big games back-to-back at home.
How do you beat a 19-90 road win over Nantahala (Topton, NC)? You hold them under 10 points of offense.
On Friday, Nantahala took a rough road trip down to Murphy only to leave with their lowest offensive performance of the season. The Lady Bulldogs (wo)man-handled the Lady Hawks, coming away with a 77-8 home win, their 17th team victory of the season. They knew Saturday night’s game would be a true test.
Following the huge win over Nantahala, the Braves of Cherokee High (then 10-4, 7-0), came to Murphy for the matchup the entire state of North Carolina has been waiting to see.
“Cherokee had won 30 straight regular season conference games,” coach Gutierrez said of their opponent. “The gym was packed and both teams played their guts out. It was a great atmosphere for a basketball game.”
The first quarter was a close one – much closer than many of the games Murphy has played this season – with the Lady Bulldogs holding only a 4-point margin over the Braves, 18-14. The Lady Bulldogs, who average more than 60-points per game, were hitting their usual offensive numbers; but the Braves’ offense was up to the task early-on, making this game a true challenge for Murphy.
By halftime, Murphy had extended their lead by only one point. Trailing by five (43-38), the Braves were still in a dangerous position and neither team was a sure victor. Sharpshooters Clapsaddle and Pickens refused to leave the game in anyone’s hands other than their own. The two combined for 8-of-11 3-point attempts, combining for 31% of the total points for the Lady Bulldogs.
In the end, the Lady Bulldogs held on to defeat the Cherokee Braves 77-74, giving the Braves their first conference loss of the season (breaking a 30-game streak).
Clapsaddle scored 30 points, while Pickens had 14. Beckner scored 12 points in the game while Thompson scored nine points, Bri Moore had six, Martin scored four points and Addison scored a basket for two. Addison led the team with rebounds (8), while Beckner also pulled in eight boards, three offensively and five on defense.
The Murphy Lady Bulldogs can play, folks. They opened the Battle of the States tournament at Towns County High School against a quality opponent, the Lumpkin County Lady Indians. Lumpkin (4-4, 1-1) was coming off a big 51-24 win at home against Mt Zion, after a tough 2-pt loss at Gilmer. Lumpkin’s biggest win of the season so far was against region rival Dawson County (46-39). The fact of the matter is – Lumpkin County is no push-over.
All that being said, Murphy’s varsity girls (6-1, 1-0) may carry the most talented roster TeamFYNSports has seen step onto a basketball court.
Nine different Lady Dawgs scored in the game, as Murphy head coach Ray Gutierrez worked to spread the playing time among his elite corps of hoopsters. Murphy senior Jessica Beckner was easily the TeamFYNSports player of the game, as she scored 24 points with 9 field goals and she went 6-of-7 from the free throw line.
Junior Ellie Martin, one of three Lady Dawgs to hit shots from beyond the perimeter, was the second-leading scorer with 12 points, two of her baskets coming from outside the arch.
Juniors Aubrey Clapsaddle and Bri Moore each scored 8 points in the game, followed by sophomore Sydni Addison and senior Hailey Thompson with 7 points each. Freshman Kaiya Pickens scored 6 points in the game. Senior Brittin Johnson and freshman Sarah Pulliam each scored 2 points for Murphy, respectively.
The first quarter was all Murphy – scoring 21 points and holding Lumpkin to only two points of offense, both points coming by way of free throws made by Raven Chester of the Lady Indians. With a 21-2 first quarter, most expected this game to be over before it even began.
However, the Lady Indians’ offense came alive in the 2nd quarter, ignited behind the effort by Karlee Armstrong, who hit two 3’s and a field goal to put up 8 of Lumpkin’s 18 points. Makenzie Caldwell hit a three-pointer and Clara White put up six points in the effort as Lumpkin fought to challenge Murphy’s dominant start.
Murphy’s offense was as consistent and accurate in the 2nd as it was in the 1st quarter, despite the offensive push-back by Lumpkin County. The Lady Dawgs put up 21 points (again) and led 42-20 going into the locker room at halftime.
Throughout the second half, both teams saw surges in which Murphy would increase their lead, followed by Lumpkin patiently chopping away at it. Ultimately, the margin would prove too great for the Lady Indians to overcome.
Murphy won the game by a final score of 76-55, advancing to face Union County in the second round, Thursday afternoon. Lumpkin’s varsity girls moved to the other side of the bracket, facing Darlington (GA) Thursday morning.