Coach Matt Harrod says of his versatile shortstop and centerfielder Murphy, “Ryan had a special mission his senior year. Part of his senior project was to find ways to help build camaraderie among the varsity team. To accomplish this, he created mini balls representing the likeness of each varsity player and coach. He also helped to add improvements to our Jack Dress Baseball Complex, like distance markers on the outfield fence and a hitter backdrop in our batting cage. While our season was cut short, we want to recognize his effort, as this year’s team was off to a solid start both on the field and in the clubhouse.” He was all-Diablo Athletic League as a junior and honorable mention as a sophomore.
Harrod adds, “Ryan’s team-first approach was respected by all and his commitment and hard-work were second to none. Alongside our other senior stalwart, returning first team all-DAL Jonathan Miller, they formed the core of our team: talent, leadership and commitment wise, they both will be sorely missed.” The Minutemen played in Antioch at Deer Valley High on Mar. 12, never dreaming that would be the last game of the high school careers for Murphy, Miller and fellow senior teammates Kyle Biven, Carlos Ochao-Silvas, Andy Gonzalez and Josh Fine. Their disappointed but proud coach said, “We were blessed to have this group of seniors not only excel on the field, but also in the classroom. As a group their combined GPA last grading period was 3.5!”
Murphy said of the abrupt end to his final high school season, “It sucks. I don’t know what the future holds and whether or not I’ll have the opportunity to continue playing [when he goes to Sonoma State this fall], so this year was the last time I was guaranteed to play the game I love. It’s heartbreaking knowing that something you put so much hard work into can just be taken away in the blink of an eye. And now I don’t get to have the lifelong memories I would have of getting to play ball with my best friends, so that’s hard to live with too.” (Scroll down for team photos)
The Pioneer congratulates Ryan and thanks Athlete Spotlight sponsors Dr. Laura Lacey & Dr. Christopher Ruzicka who have been serving the Clayton and Concord area for 25 years at Family Vision Care Optometry. www.laceyandruzicka.com
Do you know a young athlete who should be recognized? Perhaps he or she has shown exceptional sportsmanship, remarkable improvement or great heart for the sport. Send your nomination for the Pioneer Athlete Spotlight today to email@example.com.