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Leland E. Murdoch, Jr. '49

WIFE: Maryellen Bollman Murdoch
CHILDREN: David, Carolyn, Margaret, Linda,and James

The following is an edited version of Lee's own words:

It all started when Coach Harry DeBloom (Hall of Fame'05) asked me to try out for the Football Team in the fall of 1945. I had never seen a game played as I was always busy working on my Dad's farm when not in school. This was just after World War II. Sidney High School was going from six-man to elevenman football and they needed players. I liked the game and learned fast from Alan Drake (HOF '07) who was the assistant coach working with the linemen. That year I was 6'3" and weighed 145 lbs. which was a little light for a lineman.

Lee Murdoch

The next season 1946 we had a good team. I made the league All-Star team at only 155 lbs. In the 1947 season Sidney High took top honors in the Susquenango League. We also won 2nd place in the Tri-County League. I played with Dick Dickson, Bill Rasbeck Sheldon Barnes and Dick Dilmore in the All Star Game at Oxford. That season I played at 165 lbs.

In the Fall of 1948 Coach Fran Redmond (HOF'03) came on as head football coach. I was the captain now at 175 lbs. We still had veterans like Milt Curtis and Bill Rasbeck to bolster the team: As I recall Rasbeck, Curtis and I were all League All Stars. I also played baseball, basketball and ran track. In fact as a sophomore I won the ,.1 st place blue ribbon at the NYSPHSAA Section IV track meet in the 440 yard dash. That afternoon I placed 2nd in the shot put and 3rd in the relay. As a student, I was class President for three years, Student Council President 4H Club President of RHSSCH. I also participated in the Glee Club and Public Speaking Club.

I entered Colgate University in the Fall of 1949 I got a job at the Student Union and sold cattle that I had raised to pay for the first semester. I went out for the Freshman Football team and was placed on the 7th string. We had 77 players that year. They were way ahead of me in experience. I was now up to 180 lbs. but still the lightest man on the line. By the end of the season I was getting some game time. By the fall of 1950 I made the Varsity Football team. We played mostly Ivy League schools such as Cornell, Princeton, Yale as well as Army and Syracuse. That year I played against three All Americans. I really got pounded.

In the Fall of 1951 I was able to play as a regular on the first string offensive line. We were now in the two platoon system. That year I was thrilled to play against Syracuse, one of the top teams at the time. We, played in Archbold Stadium in front of 40,000 fans, quite a change from the Sidney Field! In the Fall of 1952 once again I played offensive tackle. I had reached my maximum weight of 188 lbs. I was still very light going up against 250 lb. lineman but I used my speed to do the job. Some of our games began to be televised.

While I had a job all this time I was also on the Dean's List my final two years at Colgate. I was also a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha and represented them on the Colgate Student Council. I was also in the Navy ROTC. program.

In 1954 I married Maryellen Bollman. This was the beginning of my greatest joy in life - my family. David was an outstanding football player for Mt. Markham. Jim also played football. The girls played field hockey and ran track. The children were in 4H and showed horses and cattle at the County fair. I enjoyed working with them on these projects.

In 1958 ! bought a diary farm of 265 acres and 36 cows, which over time grew to 640 acres and 155 cows. While I was an active farmer I was a member of the Otsego County Extension. I served on the Board of Directors and was President for two terms. Our family was selected as the Farm Family of the Year for Otsego County by the Farmers Home Administration.

Welcome to the Sidney Alumni Sports Hall of Fame, Lee!