This is the final story in a three-part series detailing the success of three Morgan High School seniors who have been appointed to U.S. Service Academies. Each student has received a four-year appointment to attend a military academy and will receive an education valued at over $400,000.
Kennedy Amber Wortman- United States Military Academy at West Point
Kennedy Amber Wortman, daughter of Jim and Rocio Wortman, may be Morgan County’s first-ever female appointee to a military academy according to research available to The Morgan County News.
When Kennedy was younger, she started playing volleyball at the Sportsplex in Kaysville. Soon after, she decided she wanted to be a college volleyball player. This fall when she takes to the court as a member of the United States Military Academy (USMA) Black Knight volleyball team, Kennedy’s dream will come true.
“I didn’t ever think about West Point. I knew I wanted to play college volleyball and some of the smaller schools in Utah were showing some interest, but they all wanted me to change positions and play libero. Then Coach Alma [Kovaci] from West Point saw me at an out-of-state tournament with my club team and invited me to come on a tour at West Point,” Kennedy recalled.
“Coach Alma emailed me for about a year showing a lot of interest, and I went on an unofficial visit to West Point the November of my junior year. It was so great to visit during the Army-Navy volleyball game. I was able to stay with a freshman volleyball player and really liked the school,” she recalled.
“I went on my official NCAA visit in November of my senior year. It was amazing,” Kennedy effused. “I talked with the athletic director and he explained everything to me. I was there during the Army-Navy volleyball game again with a huge crowd. We were sitting right behind the volleyball team. While I was there I talked with players and heard real experiences—the good with the bad—and I thought, ‘This is West Point.’”
“While I was there, Coach Alma made me an offer to play at West Point; it was so exciting,” Kennedy continued. After about a week of deliberation, she talked with her dad and they decided “I think we should definitely do it.”
“It wasn’t just about volleyball. West Point is an amazing school and will give me so many opportunities for the future,” Kennedy stated. “One of the things Coach Alma told me was that she liked the leadership she saw me display on the court. I look forward to being on the court and showing leadership.”
As she prepares to graduate from Morgan High School next month, she reflected, “One of the classes that best prepared me for West Point and the academic rigor there is Mr. Floyd’s calculus class.”
Morgan High Principal Wade Murdock commented, “It is an unprecedented honor for us to have three students appointed in one year. It is a tribute to these kids and their hard work, but also a tribute to the school system and the teachers who helped prepare and provided opportunities for these students to succeed.”
“Coach [Liz] Wiscombe is super supportive and her volleyball program will prepare anyone to compete anywhere they go,” Kennedy explained.
“Kennedy has an amazing vertical jump. She is explosive and can really get in the air. She can hit line, go angle. She is a student of the game and a very smart player,” Coach Liz Wiscombe shared. “She has been a great addition to Morgan volleyball and she works very hard at improving her skills and herself as a volleyball player.
“I am so excited to see her go on and play four more years at West Point. She is a great all-round player with an excellent serve and great passing,” Wiscombe continued.
Kennedy commented, “Winning the state championship and playing under Coach Wiscombe are the best things about Morgan High that I experienced.”
“Kennedy had a great state tournament this year. She played solid, hit well and served extremely well. She was a definite, important part of our success this year,” Wiscombe added. “Kennedy is also a very caring person. She noticed that one of teams we played this year didn’t have a lot of fans or support and she suggested that we do something to help the opposing team and we ended up feeding them dinner after our game.”
Wortman was named to the All-Area Second Team by the Ogden Standard Examiner; Second Team All-State for the Deseret News as an outside hitter and Second Team to the Salt Lake Tribune Coaches All-State Team.
“It has been an honor to coach Kennedy and watch her develop not only as a volleyball player, but as a person as well. I expect great things from her!” Wiscombe concluded.
Kennedy will begin West Point this summer with six weeks of basic training affectionately called “Beast” by the cadets. After four weeks of training, she will get off early and begin volleyball training, which she has been told is harder than basic.
Kennedy’s path to appointment is the same as any other applicant, but she received guidance from the West Point athletic department along the path. Wortman received her nomination from Congressman Rob Bishop.
“A lot of my family has served in the Army, so it won’t be completely new to me,” Wortman shared. Wortman’s parents are originally from California, and she came to Morgan High as a sophomore.
Her brother, Brent, was an All-American football player at Northridge High School, and her sister, Dani, currently plays libero on the Morgan High volleyball team.