Sports Person of the Week
Murphy Always Wanted to Play Lacrosse for Old Saybrook
Matt Murphy patrolled the defensive end of the field for the Old Saybrook boys’ lacrosse squad the past few years. This year, Matt was named a senior captain for the Rams. (Photo courtesy of Matt Murphy )
When Matt Murphy was nine years old, he sat in the stands during a game between the Old Saybrook and Valley Regional boys’ lacrosse teams. From that moment on, Matt knew that he wanted to play lacrosse, just like the athletes that he was watching that day.
Matt went on to enjoy a nice career as a lacrosse player in Old Saybrook. Matt lined up as a defender for the Rams and was named one of the club’s senior captains this year. Although Matt and his teammates never got a chance to take the field, Matt says that he’s had a great time playing a sport that he loves in his hometown.
“One of my favorite aspects of the game is how fast it goes. When on defense, you need to move quickly, while having your head on a swivel at all times,” says Matt. “One of my favorite memories from last season was against Morgan at home. We unfortunately lost that game, but the entire defense played very well. We were running a 3-3 zone, which requires everyone to be working together. On top of that, our clears were amazing, giving the offense more chances to score.”
Matt was ready to lead Old Saybrook alongside fellow senior captain Ian Mason, a midfielder, this spring. The two teammates play different positions, but they have both been key athletes for the Rams the past few years. After Old Saybrook graduated just two people from last season’s team, Matt and his cohorts were looking to have a big year before the 2020 campaign was canceled.
“Our team last year lacked upperclassmen and experienced players. The underclassmen were pushed to step up to the varsity level, which some were not ready for at the start of the season,” Matt says. “This year, the team was one year older and had one more year of experience under their belts. We were hoping to breed some All-Conference players, as well as a couple All-State players. I feel like we could have made a run this year. I know we had the potential to win a lot of games.”
Head Coach Jon Mason knows that Matt was going to do everything in his power to lead the Rams to a successful season. Mason describes Matt as a true leader and a perfect fit to step into the captain’s role.
“Matt has been instrumental to the Old Saybrook team. A natural leader on the field, Matt’s years of playing lacrosse at the youth and high school varsity level makes him the expert on our team. He sets the tone for our boys and takes the role of captain very seriously,” says Mason. “Matt has been a pleasure to coach, and his leadership skills are going to serve him well in life. I can’t wait to see what this young man will accomplish.”
Matt worked with Coach Mason in the youth lacrosse ranks for a few years before joining the Rams. Matt has always enjoyed learning about the game from Mason, especially when he competed for the team at the high school.
“Coach Mason was actually my coach in youth lacrosse for a couple of years. It wasn’t until high school that I learned how good of a coach he is,” Matt says. “His coaching style works great with the kids who have been playing for 10 years, as well as kids who have been playing for two weeks. Coach Mason has given me a lot of freedom in terms of being able to lead the team, which has created a very close and trusting relationship.”
Matt spends a lot of time working on his fundamentals in order to improve his lacrosse skills. Aside from lacrosse, Matt was also a member of the Old Saybrook-Westbrook football squad.
“I really like to practice my fundamentals,” says Matt. “Wall ball is a great activity to do when you’re bored and still want to play lacrosse.”
When he isn’t sharpening his lacrosse skills, Matt enjoys likes to go fishing and play basketball in his spare time. No matter what he’s participating in, Matt knows that it’s important to fuel his body properly in order to see success.
“I am big into fundamentals, as well as hydration,” Matt says. “Without being hydrated, you can never fully be at your best level.”