Player of the Year: Section 1 Marvels Elite Briarcliff Senior Aidan Murnane

Briarcliff senior Aidan Murnane
Briarcliff senior Defender Aidan Murnane

Iron Man Aidan!

Player of the Year: Briarcliff senior Defender – Aidan Murnane

Player File:
  • 2021 All-American
  • 2019 All-NYS
  • 2X All-Section
  • 5-year varsity player
  • National Honor Society, Rho Kappa Honor Society, Math Honor Society
  • 2021 Season: 8 goals, 2 assists, 57 ground balls, lock-down defender
Coach’s Quote:

I’ve been coaching Aidan since the sixth grade. He’s an all-in player, and he accepts nothing less. His mantra is that of Mark Messier (former NY Ranger icon): He quoted him at our team dinner whereby in 1994 Mess made sure everyone got a ring. Aidan’s speech to our team was that everyone is important from top to bottom. Everyone has a role. He’s the most selfless player I’ve ever coached. On and off the field he is beloved by everyone at Briarcliff. This includes classmates, staff and faculty. He was the stick that stirred our drink. He can lock down the best players in the state and then turn around and push in transition as an offensive threat. We will miss him more than he knows.

— Briarcliff Coach Al Meola

This is my 22nd year serving as Briarcliff AD and Aidan is the quintessential student-athlete I’ve seen here, one of the best to pass through here. He has put in countless hours of practice and is one of the best captains I’ve ever seen. He represents himself, his team and school, which makes me incredibly proud. It was an honor and privilege to serve as his AD.

— Briarcliff AD Chris Drosopoulos

Final Note:

The Colgate-bound Murnane might have led the Bears to three consecutive Section 1 titles if not for COVID, and would have had the Bears (15-1) in serious contention for a state title in 2020 and 2021 after reaching the state finals in 2019. Instead, Briarcliff went back-to-back as sectional champs for the first time ever, taking the Class C title in 2021. Defenders rarely post gaudy numbers, but his stingy defensive play led to first-time triumphs of perennial Class B powerhouse Yorktown and Class A heavyweight Mamaroneck, leading many to call Briarcliff the best team in Section 1 this season, stride for stride with Class B champ Rye. Murnane was also a two-sport specialist, excelling in hoops as well, but the standard he set upon the lax green, inside the huddle, in the classroom and in the Bears’ locker room are the stuff of legend.

Others Strongly Considered:

Briarcliff junior M Matt Waterhouse; Yorktown senior G Adam Norris; Yorktown junior A Harry Griff; Lakeland/Panas senior A Conor Hufnagel

By Ray Gallagher, Examiner Sports Editor @Directrays