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Never give up: RA senior Andre Murphy tackles every challenge

RESERVE – Riverside Academy senior Andre Murphy has a tenacious spirit and the grit to overcome any obstacle. With faith and family as his guiding principles, Andre knows giving up is never an option in the game of football or in the game of life.

His father, Andre Murphy Sr., is a constant reminder of what it means to persevere. The elder Murphy had a one in a million reaction to a flu shot that left him paralyzed from the waist down in late 2015. He has since made a full recovery and has returned to his job with the St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office. Even while paralyzed, Andre Murphy Sr. made it to his son’s games and watched from a wheelchair.

Andre was overcoming a leg injury of his own while helping his father navigate the road to recovery. After completing physical therapy in record time, he joined the Rebels football team in his sophomore year. eadGeHeading into his senior season as a wide receiver/ defensive back, Andre has a single goal in mind.

“I need to go to the championship and get a ring,” Andre said. “That would be a beautiful moment in this crazy senior year.”

Andre Murphy is also a basketball player at Riverside Academy. He sustained an injury during his freshman season and recovered in record time.

The world has changed immensely since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold of Louisiana in March, but Andre has made the best of a bad situation. He started his own quarantine routine, rising at 5 a.m. each morning to get a jump start on conditioning. Each day consisted of running through the neighborhood, stretching and working out with his father and brother to increase his speed and strength.

Looking back on his first two seasons with the Rebels, two games stand out in Andre’s mind. The first was a game against Country Day riddled with referee calls and time outs. Right before the end of the game, quarterback Gage Larvadain ran in a touchdown to give the Rebels the win.

Another game Andre will never forget was the match against Newman in his junior year, in which he got the Rebels on the scoreboard with an 80-plus yard scoop and score.

Andre’s favorite part about football is having fun and competing. He has first team all-district accolades under his belt, along with a leadership award. According to Andre, team camaraderie is what makes the Riverside Rebels stand out among competition.

“What makes it unique is the work we put in during practice and the young guys stepping up. It’s really like a brotherhood this year. We actually got a lot closer with COVID, and together we are pushing each other in practice, making each other work.”

Andre hopes to find that same type of environment when he takes his game to the collegiate level. He liked what he saw during a campus visit with the Ragin’ Cajuns at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. However, his college choice will ultimately come down to who can give him the best scholarship offer.

Andre’s mother, Kynisha Murphy, said she is most proud of her son’s positive mindset.

“He’s so focused and determined. He literally does not give up,” she said.

Kynisha Murphy remembers seeing Andre’s grit firsthand during a football game against West St. John. Andre was recovering from a flu and still not back to full strength. Yet, he wouldn’t abandon his brothers on the field until he had to be pulled off for a bad nosebleed.

Kynisha is also proud of Andre and his siblings for always pitching in without complaint during times when their family needed them most. The four Murphy siblings are bonded in soul and spirit, and they are often spotted wearing their signature “GOE” clothing, short for their family motto, “God Over Everything.”

Andre said having faith in God gives him motivation to face every challenge.

“Don’t ever give up. Always push,” Andre said. “There’s always that one more mile you can go.”

Outside of football, Andre is also a basketball player for the Running Rebels and a skilled percussionist with A Magic Touch drumline.