Tommy Murray’s family and friends donned matching white T-shirts emblazoned with his last name and former baseball jersey number, 25, on the back. They beamed with pride watching him accept an honor from the community he now protects and serves.
Murray, 35, a 2002 Paul D. Schreiber High School graduate who was inducted into the school’s athletics hall of fame on Sept. 14, cruised down Main Street in a stylish, midnight blue convertible during the Port Washington school’s homecoming parade.
He’s accustomed to patrolling these streets after becoming a Port Washington police officer last year.
“A goal he had was to become a Port Washington police officer,” said Schreiber wrestling coach Anthony Schettino Jr., who is Murray’s cousin and coached him at Shreiber. “He accomplished that through hard work, which was a trait he learned from sports.”
Murray, who now lives in East Atlantic Beach, said growing up in Port Washington was “special,” and that from an early age he found his niche in athletics — spending most of his time either on the baseball field or the wrestling mat. In baseball, Murray received All-County honors as a junior and senior and was named All-State as a senior, and also received All-Conference honors his senior year in wrestling.
After graduating from Schreiber, Murray went to the New York Institute of Technology, where he was captain of the Division I baseball team. He was an officer for the New York Police Department for a decade before coming back to work in Port Washington.
“My coaches didn’t just coach baseball and wrestling,” Murray said. “They taught me to prepare for life ahead.”
Murray also credits his parents, Tom and Irene Murray, with giving so much support, going as far as Texas and Florida to see all his college games.
Tommy says Tom Murray “always taught me hard work and to never quit. I can specifically remember him telling me one day, ‘Hard work is more important than anything else’ and till this day I live by that.... I can say this, without my mom and dad I would not be where I am today and have the success I’ve had without them.”
The induction ceremony, which was held in the school’s cafeteria the morning of the parade, recognized Murray and five other athletes: Arnold Donado, Roberta Meo, Lisa Vogeley, Katharine Zebroski Boiko and Megan Zebroski. Stephanie Joannon, director of health, physical education and athletics at Schreiber, said of Murray, “An opportunity to work where you grew up is a wonderful thing. It’s very nice having him in town again.”
Added Murray’s uncle, Anthony Schettino Sr., “He cares about this town. He’s not just doing a job. When somebody who has roots in a town works in that town, everybody wins.”