Under the direction of third-year Coach Katherine Hadley, 19 young women will be representing Morgan High as the 2016 girls’ tennis team.
“We had over 34 girls at tryouts. That is double the amount we had three years ago,” Hadley excitedly noted. “It is exciting to see the number of girls wanting to play tennis grow.”
Hadley returns three seniors,–Grace Ericson, Shealee Calder and Sierra Wilkinson—to her squad that lost six players to graduation, three who played on the varsity squad.
“We are still in the process of doing challenge matches and determining who partners well for the season,” Hadley explained. “No players are set yet.” The three seniors will serve as the captains of this year’s team.
Morgan played two pre-season matches against Bonneville and Fremont. The Lady Trojan’s pre-season schedule has been reduced by two matches with the addition of a new region foe, Ridgeline, a new high school in Cache Valley that opened this year.
“Ridgeline will be a mystery school. We don’t know which kids from Mountain Crest will go to Ridgeline and play tennis, so we have no idea who we will get to play against,” Hadley remarked.
“Logan will be tough again, but they lost some seniors,” Hadley continued as she discussed the upcoming Region 11 competition. “Bear River is always really strong, especially their doubles teams.
“We have five freshmen on the team, a new sophomore and a new junior. It will be like a whole new game this year,” Hadley concluded.
Congratulations to the 2016 girls’ tennis team and best of luck on their season. Players this year include: Erin Bartol (9), Shealee Calder (12), Emily Carrigan (11), Cecily Clark (9), Tacey Durrant (9), Sage Earl (10), Grace Ericson (12), Selina Fawson (11), Oliva Griffith (11), Lauren Hadley (11), Sierra Low (10), Ashley McMillan (9), Sheradyn Nelson (11), Taylor Polad (10), McCall Reid (10), Annie Rowlan (9), Sierra Wilkinson (12), Addy Wilson (11), and Emily Wilson (10).
Coming off a highly successful season last year with a state title and national ranking, the Lady Trojan volleyball team has big shoes to fill. After losing six starting varsity players to graduation, Coach Liz Wiscombe will be featuring a new team this year behind senior captains Anna Cox and Brookelyn Hurlbut.
“I am excited about the upcoming season,” Wiscombe shared. “We had a lot of girls who are willing to put in a lot of hard work. They played a lot of off season ball and have worked hard.”
Wiscombe and her returning staff of Julia Fisher, Vicki Walker, Stephanie Stuart and Swish Wiscombe opened their home matches on Wednesday, Aug. 24. “We are playing Skyview at home and it is always a great game,” Wiscombe invited.
When asked about the upcoming season and region play, Wiscombe noted, “We respect all teams and treat each team we play against as a No. 1 team. We do our best to be prepared for each match to play our best.
“Great players play all the time,” Wiscombe admonished her players during practice. “They don’t wait for game point in a championship game. It doesn’t matter what the score is or if they are keeping score. Great players play every point and go after the ball thinking ‘I might not it get it all the time, but I just might get it this time.’”
The junior varsity and sophomores played in the Northridge tournament on Friday, Aug. 19, and Saturday, Aug. 20. The JV team won first place at the tournament with a 2-1 win over Bountiful in the championship match and the sophomores fell in the championship match to Weber High. In the tournament the sophomores beat Box Elder, Viewmont and Davis twice. They fell to Fremont and then Weber in the final game.
“They played really well. After a rough start, they came together as a team and it was fun to watch,” sophomore coach Vicki Walker related.
Join the volleyball team for some great games this season as the nine freshmen, six sophomores, seven juniors and two seniors work to keep the Region 11 title at Morgan and win another state championship.
Head football coach Kovi Christiansen returns 26 seniors to his team that took second in the state last year. “We have a lot of good kids, but we need to stay healthy,” he said. “We lost a lot of experience to graduation.”
Morgan has a tough schedule with six away games and only four home games. “We really wanted to get Payson on our schedule and get a game that week, and the only way we could add them was to play at Payson, so we have one more away game than home,” Christiansen explained.
Morgan played at Bear River last Friday in an endowment game. The Trojans lost 0-14. The defense worked hard, but the offense struggled to move the ball against the Bears.
Morgan opens at home on Aug. 26 against South Summit. “South Summit always brings a good team. It will be a good game,” Christiansen commented.
“Our team is a bit smaller this year. On defense we have a lot of athletic kids that will get a lot of reps. We will have a lot of players getting a lot of playing time. We need to build confidence and gain experience early,” he continued.
Captains for the year include Tucker Skinner, Colton Jeffrey, Hunter Bedos, Cade Moore, Austin Francis and Conley Breshears.
Four years ago when Brennen Fuller began coaching the Morgan High School Cross Country teams, he had 15 to 20 boys and girls come out for the team. At the beginning of the 2016 season, Fuller and assistant coach Bryan Weir have over 40 athletes and counting ready to compete for Morgan in cross country.
“We did a lot of summer conditioning. Coach Weir and I would take turns coming up and running the practices two or three times a week. We did hill, speed and distance workouts and tried to get a lot of mileage in this summer. Summer conditioning is how you win championships!” Fuller emphasized.
“I tell the kids that their goal should be to start the season where they ended the previous year. It’s hard to run all summer to be ready for cross country; there are a lot of other things high school students would rather be doing,” Fuller commented.
In Morgan’s opening meet, the Premier Invitational in Toole, sophomore Carson Wilkins ran the best time for the Trojan boys in 16:35.7, earning him eighth place overall. “Carson has been working very hard on cross country since last spring when track ended,” remarked Fuller. “Junior Jackson Avery has worked really hard this summer and moved up the list. He was our second-place finisher in 17:59.4. Payton Bailey is also back and will play a big role on the boys’ team.
“Our first course was only 2.9 miles, a good warm up for the regular 3.1 course we run during the season. Our second meet, Thursday, Aug. 18, was at Highland at Sugar House Park. I like going to this meet because it is the course where State Cross Country will be held,” Fuller noted.
In the opening meet, juniors Ericka Parry and Bella Porter ran the top times for the girls and finished only two seconds apart. “Ericka and Bella push each other well and are currently our top two girl runners,” Fuller determined.
Freshman Jada VanDyke recently joined the team and in her first meet after attending only one practice, grabbed the third place time for Morgan. Fuller shared, “We have several young runners and a lot of incoming freshmen. It will be exciting to see what they can do.
“If we can stay healthy, I have high hopes for both the boys’ and girls’ teams. We have a tough region. We don’t know who the new school, Ridgeline, will bring from Mountain Crest and how they will compete, but with Logan and Bear River being top 10 teams in the state again, our region will be tough this year.”
Full cross country results and information can be found online at www.trojanrunning.blogspot.com