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Seeing the Game From a Different View
Parma almnus Layne Murdock reflects on his time as a Panther and offers advice to the Class of 2021
Published: 8/29/2020 1:48:49 PM

Layne Murdock spent his Friday night sitting in the bleachers at the Parma High School football field, alongside his parents, watching the Panthers take on the visiting New Plymouth Pilgrims. The vantage point may take a little while for him to get used to.

“It’s been about five years since I sat in the stands here to watch a football game,” Murdock admitted. “It’s a lot different sitting up here.”

Murdock is a part of the COVID-impacted graduating class of 2020. He played three years of varsity football, was a four-year member of the Panther wrestling team (placing third in the 182-pound weight division at the 3A state championships last spring) and was a three-year member of the varsity baseball program.

Now, he’s an alumnus and a fan. And on the first Friday night of the 2020 season, he sat with the community watching the Panthers play their first-game on a clear, warm night in Canyon County.

“We can give all the support we have to the players on the field,” Murdock said. “But it’s kind of weird to not be on the field.”

It’s a different view. On the field, he was a running back and a linebacker. In the bleachers, he’s seeing things he didn’t necessarily see when he was wearing the pads and helmet. He described one play where he could see how the play should have worked while acknowledging the players on the field might not have been able to see it.

“It’s funny seeing it from a different angle,” he admitted. “In the game, you can’t see everything. Up here (in the stands), it’s easier to see everything. Sometimes I think, ‘how would I have handled that situation?”

Murdock’s younger brother, Colt, is a junior wide receiver on the team. Against the New Plymouth Pilgrims, the younger Murdock was quarterback Isaiah Krohn’s favorite target, catching six passes. There are two more Murdock brothers in junior high as well.

The eldest son has a message for the current crop of Panthers. He lost most of his senior baseball season – a season where the team felt it had a good chance to compete for a spot in the state tournament for the first time in several years. He didn’t get the normal pomp-and-circumstance graduation. He didn’t get the final weeks of school with his friends that most students before him had gotten.

“You have to take advantage of every second you have because it goes by really quick and, sometimes, you don’t know when it’s going to be over,” he said. “Don’t take anything for granted. Make sure you enjoy it.”

Murdock will be in town for about two more weeks before beginning the fall term at BYU-Idaho. Then, sometime this winter, he’ll leave for his LDS mission. Once that is complete, he’ll return to college and plans to go to medical school. He says the ultimate goal is to be an orthopedic surgeon.

But first, big brother has some football to talk about with his younger brother.

“Maybe I’ll give him a little advice when we get home,” Murdock said with a smile. “But I think he’s doing a pretty good job out there.”


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