Athlete of the Month: Connor Murphy

Connor Murphy ‘19 is a shining example of the hard work that players aspire to achieve in their respective fields, or in his case, the waters. Having swum most of his life, Murphy serves as a valuable player to the boys’ water polo team. Murphy is utility field player, which means he is able to make important contributions to the team in both offense and defense; Murphy is able to counter onto offense quickly and win sprints to start off a quarter.

“I like how water polo is a combination of both an individual and team sport. Not only can I rely on my teammates, but they can also rely on me. The best thing about my team is that we have a positive culture and great chemistry in and out of the pool ” Murphy said.

On offense and defense, his team works together to perform plays– they set picks and communicate, relying on each other  to create the best possible opportunity to score. Last year, the water polo team won Division 1 Central Coast Section (CCS) championships against Gunn High School, which took the culmination of the team’s efforts to maintain their momentum until the end and come out with a win. However, Murphy’s favorite game was the BVAL championship against Willow Glen High School, where his team was down the entire game. At the last minute, the Chargers scored the game-winning shot, ultimately securing the spot of BVAL champions. Murphy hopes to play Pioneer and Willow Glen High School again so that he can demonstrate his improvements with intense rivalries.

“The thought of losing to Willow Glen made the game intense and some of our best players were unable to play because they were penalized three times. I was physically exhausted and stressed out about being down by a few points the whole game. We had to play two quarters into overtime, yet we still managed to beat them with the last shot,” Murphy said.

Murphy’s best performance in a game was on Aug. 25 against Irvine High School where he scored five goals and two assists with the combined efforts of his team to earn a win of 15-4. The school’s water polo team has not only helped Murphy become a great water polo player but also helped him build on his own character. Water polo requires collaboration and self-confidence, two important skills that Murphy has improved on during his time in the water.

“The hardest challenge that I had to overcome is having confidence in myself. I have definitely made huge improvements to believe in myself more. I used to never shoot the ball even when I had an open shot because I was worried it would be the wrong shot to take,” Murphy said.

Murphy hopes to continue playing water polo at the club level in college and is determined to make this year one for the records by repeating a win in the CCS championships with even better scoring average.