• 68°

True Lawrence Countian: Teen Murnahan

Can a Hornet become a Redman? No way! Emphatically No! Not in our lifetime!

Of course, the final answer to the above question is yes.

Carl “Teen” Murnahan was a 1946 graduate of Coal Grove High School. This was the same year my mother graduated.

I remember playing pick-up baseball at the old Carlyle Tile ball field in the early 1960s. Teen worked for Carlyle Tile. One day after work, he stopped by to watch.

It wasn’t long till he was playing for one of the pick-up teams. He began stopping each afternoon to play for one of our teams. He was a great competitor, always playing to win. I mentioned this at the supper table one evening. My mother told me about Teen being the best athlete in her graduating class.

Teen Murnahan was born in 1928 to Clarence and Edith Broce Murnahan. He had four brothers, Don, Ike (Earl), Puck (Walter), and Wendell, and two sisters, Dorsey and Jenny Lee. He grew up in the Deering/Bald Knob area and attended Kitts Hill Schools. During Teen’s sophomore year in high school, the Kitts Hill Wildcats basketball team advanced to the regional finals. Teen made the All-County basketball team. He would repeat this honor his junior year. Teen moved to Coal Grove his senior year. The Hornets would win the Lawrence County basketball tournament, and Teen would make the All-County basketball team for the third consecutive year. Teen was also All-Ohio Honorable Mention. He enrolled at Cedarville College and was a starter on the basketball team in 1946-47. In 1947 he transferred to Rio Grande College where he would meet his future wife, Vera Sanders.

Teen Murnahan and Vera Sanders were married Oct. 8, 1948.

Teen and Vera, a teacher in the Rock Hill School District for 27 years, had two daughters, Becky and Ginger, and one granddaughter, Shelby. Teen taught for two years at Blackfork. He was also assistant football and basketball coach.

In 1950 he went to work for Carlyle Tile. Teen was Shipping Superintendent at Carlyle Tile when he was injured and permanently paralyzed. On June 2, 1971, a box car door fell on his back.

Teen Murnahan, bowler, softball and baseball player, and golfer, would never walk again.

The next time I met Teen, he was scorekeeper for the Rock Hill basketball team, and I ran the score clock for the Hornet basketball team home games.

We renewed our friendship instantly. It was easy to see how this former Hornet was now Mr. Redman. Fans from both teams stopped to say hello with a kind word.

The Rock Hill School District felt so strongly about this man that a special wheelchair seat and ramp was erected at their football stadium after his accident.

Teen had the best seat in the house, as he so richly deserved.

Teen Murnahan passed on Oct. 6, 1989. Rock Hill had lost its number one fan. Teen had been announcer and scorekeeper for Rock Hill Basketball for 40 years. Those who met and knew Teen were most fortunate.

Teen Murnahan, husband and father, grandfather, athlete, fan, and friend to everyone exemplifies what it means to be a true Lawrence Countian.

Mike Nourse is a retired educator and contributing columnist for The Ironton Tribune. He lives in Coal Grove with wife Clara Gail, also a retired educator.