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Newman signs to play for Niagara

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CANTON — Murphy Newman grew up here playing sports nearly year-round.

If she wasn’t carrying a lacrosse or hockey stick, she was often dribbling a soccer ball, either in the back yard with her brothers or with her teammates. Eventually, lacrosse emerged as her favorite.

Next year, the active 17-year-old will take her athletic skills to Niagara University in Lewiston, where she was recruited to play on the Division I women’s lacrosse team. She has signed a letter of intent to play for the Niagara Purple Eagles and looks forward to competing at the collegiate level

“It’s a program with a new coach and I’ll be able to get the playing time that I want,” Newman said. “I really liked the campus and felt comfortable there.”

She also had been recruited to play at some Division III colleges, including Elmira College, but Niagara seemed the best fit.

The Niagara women’s lacrosse team is coached by Wendy Stone and plays in the Metro Atlantic Conference. Newman plays midfield.

Her older brother Jake, is a sophomore at Niagara, which was another reason for choosing a college in Western New York. They are the children of Paul and Kirstin Newman. The family also includes another son, Cooper, a freshman at Canton high school.

Newman attended Canton through 10th grade. She then transferred to Berkshire School, a preparatory school in Sheffield, Mass. At Berkshire she has played on the soccer, hockey and lacrosse teams. She is set to graduate this spring from Berkshire and has not yet decided on a college major.

She credits many of her past sports coaches for pushing her to excel, including her uncle, Lyle Newman, coach of the Canton girls lacrosse team. She also mentioned Greg Kiah, her Canton soccer coach, Anita Francis, her Canton hockey coach, and Rick Miller, her Potsdam Ice Storm hockey coach. At Berkshire, she received support and inspiration from her lacrosse coach, Dana Chapin Anselmi, and her college counselor, Andrea Bowler.

Lyle Newman said he’s proud of his niece’s accomplishments and hopes she serves as a role model for other high school athletes who aspire to play in college.

“I think she’s one of the best we’ve had here, at least in the top three,” Newman said. “It makes me feel proud as an uncle and a coach to see her go to Niagara, a Division I school. It’s a huge feather in her cap to work hard and get there.”

Newman also thanked her parents for “dragging me around to all the tournaments,” and her grandparents for attending her games.

IHC’S MILES TO SIGN TODAY

Immaculate Heart Central senior Kayla Miles will sign a letter of intent this afternoon to attend the University of North Carolina for lacrosse.

Miles, who made a verbal commitment with the Tar Heels as a junior, scored 46 goals and assisted on 20 others in her junior season for the Cavaliers.

Miles, who led IHC to a 15-2 record last year and a No. 7 ranking in the state, will sign the letter at a ceremony at 3 p.m at the Savory Downtown restaurant on Washington Street.

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