03/06/13 — Murphy, Graves selected for East-West All-Star affair

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Murphy, Graves selected for East-West All-Star affair

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on March 6, 2013 1:47 PM

For most players selected to the East-West All-Star Game, it is simply one final chance to put on a high school football uniform before continuing their careers at the collegiate level.

For Goldsboro's Julius Murphy and Charles B. Aycock's Devin Graves, it is one last opportunity to prove they belong on the next level.

Both Murphy and Graves have been selected to compete in the East-West All-Star Game on July 24 at A.J. Simeon Stadium in High Point. The event has been held since 1949 and features North Carolina's top prep football players.

Murphy and Graves are part of an East squad led by Wilson Hunt head coach Randy Raper. James Kenan head coach Ken Avent Jr. is an assistant coach for the East.

Murphy threw for 3,356 yards and 42 touchdowns in two years as a starting quarterback at Goldsboro. The Cougars went 20-6 with Murphy running the offense and won the Carolina 1-A Conference championship this season. Murphy has yet to sign a scholarship to play in college.

"Being selected builds a lot of confidence," Murphy said. "I just have to stay focused like it is a regular game and prepare as if I was playing in a conference championship game. Hopefully it will open up some eyes to some coaches that I am pretty good and give them a chance to offer me to play at the next level."

Goldsboro finished 10-2 in 2012 and reached the second round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 1-A state playoffs. Murphy threw for 2,103 yards with 29 touchdowns and just five interceptions. He threw for 150 yards or more in eight of the Cougars' 12 games and tossed three or more touchdown passes on six occasions. Goldsboro averaged 37 points a game.

Murphy is the 31st Cougar selected to the East-West All-Star Game. Goldsboro was last represented in the annual event by Jarran Reed in 2011.

Graves spent just one year with the Golden Falcons after moving with his family to Wayne County from Texas. The defensive back was fourth on the team with 57 tackles and had a team-high two interceptions. Graves was part of an Aycock team that finished 6-6 and reached the second round of the NCHSAA Class 3-A state playoffs. He recorded five or more tackles on six occasions in 2012.

Graves plans to attend the United States Naval Academy and hopes to earn the opportunity to play football for the Midshipmen.

"I was pretty excited about being selected," Graves said. "I never really thought I would get it, but I never quit it. It is not only a big deal for me but also for my school.

"My biggest thing (at the All-Star Game) is to not necessarily make the best plays but to not make any bad plays. I'm going to play hard and do everything I was coached to do."

Graves is the 10th Aycock player to be named an East-West All-Star and the first since Craig Murdock in 2011.