SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ - All-Union County First Team. All-State First Team. Union County Player of the Year. All-American honors. And now, New Jersey Gatorade Player of the Year.
These are a few of the accomplishments that Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School soccer player James Murphy has achieved as a result of this past season. Being named New Jersey Gatorade Player of the Year is just another decoration to add to his plethora of awards. What makes all of this even more impressive is the fact that James accomplished all this as a sophomore.
The Gatorade Player of the Year in New Jersey has been consistently awarded to seniors. Murphy is the first non-senior to win the award in at least the past five years.
“My initial reaction was just really, ‘wow, what an honor,’” said Murphy. “I had sort of forgotten I was a nominee for the award and when I was told I’d won it I was really honored.”
The award combines Murphy’s contributions on and off the field, focusing on his academic skills as well as his role in the community aside from soccer.
Murphy maintains a “B” average in the classroom, and he also volunteers as a youth basketball coach and is a member of the high school’s Student Athlete Leadership Team.
“I’ve actually put a lot of effort into my school work this year and that translates straight from the field because success doesn’t come without hard work, and that’s the case in everything you do,” Murphy said. “I want to improve every single way I can, that’ll always be my goal for everything.”
Murphy is the first athlete ever from Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School to win this award.
“I’d just like to stress how much of an influence my family, friends, teammates, and coaches have made on me. The awards wouldn’t have come without the support of my family and the likes of Raider Nation, as well as the help from my coaches and teammates.”