Bellport High School students, teachers and administrators commemorated Memorial Day weekend through participation in the second annual Lt. Michael P. Murphy Murph Challenge, a grueling fitness workout to benefit the school’s fundraising efforts for the Wounded Warriors Project.
Participants came together on the high school track to finish a 1-mile run, followed by a trip to the high school’s gym to complete 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups and 300 squats, followed by another 1-mile run.
Lt. Michael Patrick Murphy was a U.S. Navy Seal officer and the first recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War for his actions in the War in Afghanistan. He was born and raised in Suffolk County and after participating in several War on Terrorism missions, was killed in 2005 after his team was surrounded by Taliban forces. While in the Navy, he discovered CrossFit, creating his own CrossFit-style workout that involved running, pushing, pulling and lifting. The annual Murph Challenge has evolved into a workout that pays tribute to Lt. Murphy and to all fallen heroes.
Social studies teacher Joe Scioli, who started and runs the program at Bellport High School, said the event puts the actions of a local hero in perspective. “This challenge is a good way to make Memorial Day relevant to our students,” he said.
Class of 2020 graduate and student-athlete Joshua Leidig said he has participated in the event each year as a way to honor fallen heroes and the contributions of Lt. Murphy, calling the workout a tradition. Shaun Bolton, also a participant, described the event as a “bond that can’t be broken.”
Mr. Scioli thanked participants for contributing approximately $500 to benefit the Wounded Warriors Project.
A: Bellport High School substitute teacher Vincent Walsh, and students Andrew Beadle and Calvin Pedatella cheered each other on during the Lt. Michael P. Murphy Murph Challenge held prior to Memorial Day weekend.
B: Murph Challenge organizer Joseph Scioli, right, is pictured with Bellport High School student-athletes (l-r) Andrew Beadle, Shaun Bolton, Jonah Poueriet-Santana during their workout.
C: Bellport High School students, faculty and administrators participated in the grueling Murph Challenge prior to the Memorial Day weekend in honor of Lt. Michael P. Murphy.
Photos courtesy of the South Country Central School District