By Mitch Silver
For a good part of this year of Covid-19, it looked like there might not beany winter sports. And then, even when there were, it seemed Liam Hurley would miss his senior year due to shoulder surgery he had just before classes began.
Fortunately for Hurley and the Garnets’ Hockey team, his doctor cleared him to play a week before the season started. Then, the 6’ 4” left winger picked up where he’d left off, amassing more than 100 points in his four years on varsity and earning the Lions Club’s Rye High Athlete of the Month award for January.
What makes this young man a standout in ice hockey in the winter and again as an attackman for the Garnets’ Lacrosse team in the spring? Here’s how his coach Peter Thomas puts it: “Liam is a very skilled hockey player who has been an integral part of our success over the years. It is not easy to step in as a freshman and contribute, but that is exactly what Liam did. He sees the ice surface so well and thinks the game at a very high level. That is one of the things that makes him stand out, not just his physical ability, but his mental game as well.”
Hurley puts it another way. “I think the game better than most high school kids. I’m not the fastest skater and I don’t have the hardest shot, but I know how to be in the right place at the right time.”
He helped Rye win the Sectional title a year ago and make it into the semifinals this year, before losing to the combined Eastchester/Tuckahoe/Bronxville/Edgemont squad 3-1.
Asked about his college plans, Liam said he hadn’t chosen a school yet. He listed Indiana and its Kelly School of Business, the University of Wisconsin, Syracuse, and Georgia as strong possibilities. “I know I want to go to a big school, where I can make friends from all over the country. I like meeting new people.” Liam has decided not to play varsity sports in college, so he wants to make a choice “based on the all-around educational life.”
Are any of them colleges his parents attended? “No. My mom went to the University of Albany and my dad attended Colgate.” He grinned. “Colgate’s a good school, but it’s in the middle of nowhere.”
The Lions Club award, chosen with the help of the Rye High Athletic Department, values not only athletics, but academics, extracurricular participation, and community service.
“As far as classes go, I really enjoy my Advanced Placement Economics course, that Coach Thomas teaches. I also get a lot out of my AP Government and Politics course and Speech and Debate. As far as winning this award, I’m grateful to be recognized for my achievements along with the likes of previous teammates like Alex Noga and Declan Lavelle.”
The nine monthly Lions Club winners will be invited to the Lions’ year-end awards dinner at The Osborn, social spacing permitted. That night, the winner of the vote by the Rye High student body for Athlete of the Year will be announced. We think January’s winner will be one of the frontrunners.