After Warren Hills QB Evan Murray dies, calls to honor his memory grow
As students from Warren Hills Regional High School prepared to return to class Monday one soul short, New Jersey's academic and athletic communities were with them.
Members of the school community in Washington Township and well beyond were preparing to wear blue, the school's signature color, in memory of Evan Murray, the senior quarterback who died Friday night after taking multiple hits in a game against Summit.
Countless people rallied around the Twitter hashtags #18strong — for Murray's uniform number — and #RIPEvan as efforts to help Murray's family continued to gain support.
A GoFundMe.com fundraiser for Murray's family had collected more than $37,000 from more than 800 people as of Sunday night.
And friend Ethan Wimmer had sold more then 700 T-Shirts in Murray's honor, collecting another $8,300 for the family. The shirts feature Murray's name and number on the back. On the front, "Forever a Blue Streak. Forever in our Hearts. Fly High."
On Twitter, other friends and classmates were encouraging members of the school community to leave flowers and memorabilia at his parking spot, No. 287.
Funeral arrangements are being made by the Warren Hills Memorial Home in Washington Township, Warren County. Visitation is from noon to 9 p.m. Wednesday at Faith Discovery Church in Washington Township. The funeral will be 11 a.m. at the church Thursday.
Murray's family has asked that in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions be made to a scholarship in his name — Evan Murray Scholarship Fund in care of the funeral home, 234 W. Washington Ave., Washington, NJ 07882.
It's still unclear what killed Murray, a three-sport athlete and a standout student. Teammates and friends said he took several hits through the game, but after one particularly hard one shortly before halftime, had to be helped up. They said he lost consciousness for a moment on the sidelines, but woke up and looked out at the crowd.
Teammate Mark Formichelli said Murray had been holding his side after one of the earlier hits, but seemed to walk it off and continued playing.
Murray was taken to Morristown Medical Center, where he died Friday evening.