Melissa High School Cardinal football player senior Gunnar Murphy has been selected to play as linebacker on the West squad in the 2016 Blue-Grey All-American Bowl at AT&T Stadium on Thursday, Dec. 22.

The Blue-Grey All-American Bowl features top senior recruits and highly rated prospects representing 39 Eastern and Western states, and the coaching staff consists of former NFL players. Murphy was one of 90 recruits selected from over 6,750 qualified players.

A representative from the Blue-Grey All-American Bowl commented on what an honor it is to be selected, saying that the athletes will now “band together as one unit to display their skills to the nation” and “have earned the right to wear the colors of the Blue-Grey.”

Murphy is a senior at Melissa High School and plays H Back and middle linebacker for the Melissa Cardinals.

“It’s a big honor to be selected to play in the Bowl game and I’m very excited to represent Melissa,” Murphy said. “After an injury my junior year, I really had to overcome some things. It was a lot of hard work and dedication that got me to this point.”

Melissa High School’s Matt Nally and Seth Stinton are two of Murphy’s football coaches and mentors.

“Gunnar is a great young man who has worked extremely hard to be where he is,” Athletic Director and Head Football Coach Seth Stinton said. “His willingness to put in work is second to none. This year he changed positions and played our H position and really did great. He worked so hard in off season and changed his body for that position. As a captain this year, Gunnar did great in leading his teammates. I am so impressed with him as a person and as a football player. He will do great things in the future.”

Assistant Head Football Coach and Offensive Coordinator Matt Nally agreed.

“Gunnar Murphy is a great representation of work ethic and desire,” Nally said. “His leadership abilities and character have given him an opportunity to be involved in such a great event as the Blue-Grey game. He will be successful in whatever he does because he has a vision, and with his determination he will make his vision become a reality. Gunnar is such a great athlete, but he is a better person and that is why he has been given this opportunity. I am so excited for Gunnar and Melissa to be a part of such a great event and I know Gunnar is going to shine.”

Tickets to the Dec. 22 Blue-Grey All-American Bowl at AT&T Stadium are $20 and parking is free. The game will air and stream live nationwide via the Impact Football Network starting at 12:00 noon.