For a list of the other Gatorade State Boys Soccer POYs, click here.
THE WINNER: James Murphy
School: Scotch Plains-Fanwood (Scotch Plains, N.J.)
Weight: 155 pounds
Athletic achievement: He scored 22 goals and passed for 17 assists this past season, leading the Raiders (18-3-1) to the North 2, Group 4 semifinals. An All-American selection by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, Murphy was the Courier News Player of the Year and a Newark Star-Ledger First Team All-State honoree. He concluded his sophomore year with career totals of 27 goals and 29 assists.
Academic excellence: Murphy has maintained a B average.
Exemplary character: A member of his high school’s Student Athlete Leadership Team, he has volunteered locally with Special Olympics and as a youth basketball coach.
“Scotch Plains’ success runs through James Murphy,” said Eric Shaw, head coach of Westfield (N.J.). “Playing in the middle of the park allowed him to be the general. With very good vision and great technical ability, James was always dangerous.”
THE FUTURE: Murphy will be a junior this fall.