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21

Jan, 2021

Bergen County Teams Host the Suzanne Murphy Cup

Feature written by Richard Leister, NJYS Contributor

Soccer Tournament Held to Honor the Legacy of Suzanne Murphy

COVID-19 has managed to alter many aspects of day-to-day life, and the Bergen County Soccer Tournament was yet another event cancelled due to restrictions brought on by the virus. However, for several long-time high school coaches, the power of the sport reigned supreme over COVID and culminated with the Suzanne Murphy Cup.

“Rather than sit back and lament on what we lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was inspiring to work with a group of coaches who saw the opportunity to unite our programs and find a way to have a positive impact on our players and communities,” said Coach Bill Jaeger. “Beyond just playing the games, the opportunity to raise funds and raise awareness by contributing to a program such as the Urban Outreach Program was consistent with what all the schools voiced as their obligation to use sport to give back to those less fortunate.”

Like many unfortunate others, Suzanne Murphy, a long-time contributor to Bergen County high school soccer, fell victim to the virus in April. In an effort to raise awareness of COVID-19, the Bergen coaches decided to honor her legacy. Held on November 7th and 8th, the Suzanne Murphy Cup was created to grant the players of Cliffside Park, Demarest, Fort Lee, Northern Highlands, Old Tappan, Pascack Valley, Ramapo and Tenafly the opportunity to safely compete against each other in a tournament-style event amidst COVID.

“Suzanne was a special person who had a passion for youth sports, particularly soccer. When the opportunity arose to have the event, it was fitting to have it in her name,” explained Coach Evan Baumgarten. “The coaches involved in the Suzanne Murphy Cup were supportive from the beginning and worked very hard to pull this off, and the players were excited to participate.”

In addition, in the spirit of her commitment to New Jersey soccer, the tournament organizers also created and sold t-shirts to participants in an effort to raise funds for underprivileged children to give back to the youth soccer community at large. Through the Suzanne Murphy Cup, the eight high schools were able to generate $2,155 to donate to the NJYS Urban Outreach Program. The goal of the program is to help engage children in physical activity and use soccer as a vehicle to teach life skills, encourage the values of teamwork and promote discipline, confidence and self-esteem.

To learn more about Suzanne Murphy’s legacy or its results, please visit the tournament’s website.

To contact New Jersey Youth Soccer, please email [email protected]. Also make sure to follow us on social media: @NJYouthSoccer

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New Jersey Youth Soccer

569 Abbington Dr, Suite 5
East Windsor, New Jersey 08520

Phone: 609-490-0725
Email: [email protected]hsoccer.com
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