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The Dynamic Duo: Aunt Haley and niece Selena -- seven months apart -- driven to athletic and academic success in Blackduck

Seven months to the day after her birth, Haley Murray became an aunt when her sister gave birth to Selena Murray. Now 18 years later, Haley and Selena share everything, most notably, a love of sports -- especially basketball, the one sport they s...

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Selena (left) and Haley Murray. Jennifer Parker | For The Pioneer

Seven months to the day after her birth, Haley Murray became an aunt when her sister gave birth to Selena Murray.

Now 18 years later, Haley and Selena share everything, most notably, a love of sports -- especially basketball, the one sport they share.

Seeing the names Murray and Murray on the Lady Drakes program, most people would probably assume they’re sisters -- and that’s certainly a reasonable assumption, but what exactly is the likelihood of an aunt and niece sharing the court? The answer is: not likely at all.

Haley and Selena have been playing on organized teams together since they were children and continue today, although winter is now the only “organized” season they share. In the fall, Haley plays football while Selena plays volleyball. In the spring, Haley is behind home plate on the Drakes softball team and Selena is running track.

Drakes coaches have plenty of praise for Haley and Selena. Pete Ofstedal, who coached girls basketball varsity for three years before shifting to the boys’ program said that both girls stay late at practice to get in more shooting.

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“They both love to see the ball go through the net and that’s a sign of a person who loves the game,” he said.

Current girls basketball coach Dan Hangaard, who also is the head coach for football for the Drakes, says of Haley, “she played linebacker and wide receiver, but most of her playing time came from being our long snapper. This is an extremely important job on the football field, especially as much as we punted.

“Haley never had a bad snap all year. Not a single one. No matter what the weather, her snaps were consistent. It was nice not to have to worry about that part of our operation.”

“I have had both Haley and Selena in class, and it’s been fun to watch the combo grow and become wonderful young ladies,” said Drakes head softball coach Sheena Reese. “Haley is being looked at by college scouts. She’s so driven. If she gets in a batting slump, she goes home and hits balls off a tee for hours in order to self-correct her swing. She takes pride in her academics just like she does in her sports and helps others on the bus with homework.”

This sentiment is echoed by other teachers about Selena as well as Haley, as both are high academic achievers.

“Quiet thunder” is how volleyball coach Lora Mistic describes Selena. “Selena is dependable and respectful,” Mistic said. “Always considerate of her teammates and has excellent work ethic.”

“Selena will run, even in relays she’d rather not, without complaint if that’s where I want her,” said track coach Donna Stroeing. “I’ve coached her for three years and really enjoy her, she’s respectful, easy to work with, and sets strong goals for herself.”

Both girls are honor students, staples of the high school band -- Selena is a singer in the choir, and member of the winning Business Professionals of America team, while Haley is a stellar foreign language student.

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There is no doubt that these girls keep moving so fast that they don’t give their shadows a chance to catch up -- but in the halls and on the fields of Blackduck High School they’ve both made a name for themselves and a legacy for the name they share: Murrays: The Dynamic Duo.

 

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Haley (left) and Selena Murray are both athletic and academic achievers at Blackduck High School. They're not sisters, though -- Haley is Selena's aunt. Jennifer Parker | For The Pioneer

Related Topics: BLACKDUCK
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