NEW YORK, N.Y. -- No sooner did the 2011 World Police and Fire Games wrestling competition concluded, Ardsley graduate Mike Murray began looking forward to the 2013 Games in Belfast, Ireland. Murray, currently a Fairview Fire Department firefighter, won silver medals in the 138-pound weight class in both Freestyle and Greco-Roman.
The 22-year-old Murray, a three-time Section 1 small-school champion and 2004 New York State place finisher, lost to the same opponent in both gold-medal matches. Murray said his opponent was police officer and member of the Indian National wrestling team.
I thought I wrestled very well and I wrestled tough, Murray said. I dont know if these guys wrestle all-year round, but I think they do because they had a lot more technique than me.
Being back on the mat made Murray flash back to his successful scholastic career and recall what made it so much fun.
It was nice to get back into wrestling and all of the wrestlers were like little kids, said Murray, the Woodlands varsity assistant wrestling coach. When the woman went to put up the bracket sheets, you had a group of grown men running over to her to see what the results were. The woman was elbowing us out of the way so she could put the bracket sheets up.
Murray was impressed by the turn out, especially members in the Masters Division.
There was this one man, he had to be in his early 60s, from Croatia, who was the only one in his division, but he was giving it his all, Murray said. He dropped down an age class to wrestle. No matter how old you are or what level you are at, you will always be hooked on wrestling and you cant give it up.
Murray is attempting to talk older brother, Chris, a former Ardsley wrestler and current New York City firefighter, into coming out of retirement for 2013. Mike Murray said his brother had thought about competing this year, but was focusing on something more important, the impending birth of his first child.
If he doesnt do 2013, then the 2015 Games are in Virginia so maybe he will do it then, Murray said. I want the gold in 2013. I am going to put in the time and start training earlier for 2013.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.