CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Harding University High School football team was celebrated Tuesday. The team won the state championship for their division. Football coach Sam Greiner says quarterback Braheam Murphy showed leadership skills during the entire football season.
"He's more special than people can imagine," coach Sam Greiner said. "He's the greatest leader I have ever seen. He's a better leader than I am."
Greiner says Murphy may be quiet but he was a beast on the field.
"When people were banged up and hurt, he said I got it,"the Coach said.
The entire student body came to the football field to honor the team Tuesday. Students hope this championship will increase school pride and allow Harding to be known for something good.
"All the work that we put in, it finally paid off and we got to celebrate with our school," Murphy said.
While Murphy is celebrating victory, he remembers his humble beginnings. Two years ago he didn't have the grades to be on the football team and his home life was unstable. He would ask the football coach to take him from place to place until the coach asked him the question, "where do you live?"
"He broke down to me one day," Greiner said. "It took him awhile and I asked how about you just eat dinner with us one night. Come stay at the house one time. He then asked is it ok that I stay, I said No doubt."
Murphy has been living with the coach for the past two years, things got better and he got the grades to play football.
"Give him some stability where he can do his homework in the bed," Greiner said. "He took over himself and he's had a 3.5 GPA."
Murphy says he is happy somebody looked out for him so he could have a bright future.
"It's just a blessing," Murphy said. "It was God's plan and everything working out through His hands."
Greiner says he may have given Murphy stability but Murphy gave him support at the right time.
"I was just breaking down, life was hitting me hard. I remember crying in the kitchen and I felt his arm come around me and just hugged me and said, "I love you, it's going to be ok" and that little bit of a boost of him picking me up at a time when I really needed it was so special," the coach said.
The coach calls Murphy his son, and says he likes bragging on him and talking about the great football team Harding University High School has.
"We knew we could be great," coach said. "Greatness was inside of them already, but now the whole world gets to see what greatness was inside of them with that championship, that's what makes it special."
Murphy is a senior and will be headed off to West Point Academy next year on a football scholarship. Both coach and student say lessons were learned on and off the field.
"Football X's and O's can take you so far, but family, believing and loving one another is a strong thing and it's still real," Greiner said.
Murphy says even though football season is over, he will continue to do his best, put everything in God's hands and believe things will pay off.
"Never give up and always keep your head high and through hardship and through hard times and everything will pay off," Murphy said.