Morgan High School girls’ soccer coach Bryan Searle refuses to have a favorite player on a single team from year to year because he loves all his players. But if he had to choose a favorite from among all the players he’s ever coached, one person stands out – Morgan Cragun.
Cragun, a senior forward, has been a team captain for the last three seasons and has been on Searle’s club or high school teams for 10 straight years.
“She is not one of my favorite players just because she is one of the best players that I have coached,” Searle said, “but because I have had the opportunity to watch her develop as a player as well as a young woman. Like all players, she has become family.
“She is someone that just has a lot of ‘someones,’” Searle added. “Someone that I have developed the highest respect for. Someone that has developed into a leader who is very well respected by all the players she has played with. Initially, she was a quiet leader that led by example only, and now, she leads by example and as a vocal leader with both the first and second teams.”
Searle said that Cragun has almost never gotten mad or discouraged at practice or during a game. Emphasis on “almost.”
“There is this one time I maybe ran them a little too much and she was pretty angry,” he said.
“(She is) someone that is a great example on and off the field and has never backed down in what she believes in,” Searle continued. “Someone who is one of the most humble individuals that I know. Someone that is disciplined, a rule-follower and a peacemaker. Someone that makes a difference at Morgan High School and someone that I consider to be a good friend.”
Another tremendous attribute of Cragun is her obvious love of her younger sister, Sydney, a sophomore on this year’s team.
“One of the best assists this year was during the Grantsville game,” Searle said. “(Morgan) made a long pass to her sister and knew that she had a great opportunity to score. Knowing this, she sprinted towards the goal, raising her hands and knowing that she was able to assist her sister in getting a goal. We discussed this after the game because I knew it meant a lot to her. She had a huge smile and said it was awesome. She then went over and gave her sister a two-hand high five.”
True to her self-effacing personality, Cragun tends to downplay accolades that come her way.
“I just try to be a leader and a good example so that the younger girls have something to strive after and follow,” she said.
While she is clearly an outstanding soccer player, Cragun is also very good at basketball.
“Soccer’s always been my favorite sport and the one that I’ve played the most.” she said. “But lately I’ve loved basketball too. I can’t really pick which one I like best.”
Cragun excels in the classroom as well, and considers math her favorite subject. After school, she intends to go to college, but is not sure where she’ll end up. She still has a few months to worry about that.
“I don’t know where yet or what I’m going to do, but we’ll figure it out,” she said.