01 Sep Morris excels on and off the field for Mayflower
By Levi Gilbert
After two consecutive seasons with just two wins, Gabe Morris is ready to help turn the tide for the Mayflower Eagles. The senior will do it the only way he knows how.
“Gabe is one of the hardest workers on the team,” said Mayflower Head Coach Austin Emerson. “Guys look up to his hard work mentality.”
Morris, a running back/linebacker for the Eagles, has set his 2021 goals on both immediate and long-term successes for Mayflower.
“I want to become a better leader that everyone looks up to, become faster as a player, get stronger in the weight room and motivate my teammates to become better,” Morris said. “We want to build up our program for the next generations while improving ourselves as young men. We will achieve these goals by staying committed, giving full effort every day and by pushing each other past our limits to make each other better.”
Morris was selected to this year’s 501 Football Team — 23 players representing all 11 counties of the 501. The team, sponsored by Conway Regional Health System, First Security Bank, Moix Equipment & Toy Company and Velda Lueders Coldwell Banker RPM Group, boasts the best the 501 has to offer both on and off the field. The senior was nominated by Emerson.
“We can put Gabe anywhere, and he knows what to do,” Emerson said. “He is athletic enough to play multiple spots, and he gets everyone else in the right spots. He is a model citizen in the hallways, and he also takes all of the hard classes we offer and excels in them.
“Gabe will have to help carry the load on both sides of the ball. He is like having a coach on the field. I expect him to rush for a ton of yards on offense and be one of our leading tacklers on defense like he was a year ago.”
The Mayflower Eagles open the season Friday on the road at Batesville Southside.
“During the summer and all the camps, as a team we have been focusing on the little things like footwork, using our hands and just making sure we still do our jobs correctly even when we’re tired,” Morris said. “Offensively, we have been making sure we know our rules, ball security and making sure we are getting better at running our offense. Defensively, we are watching film looking at certain keys their offense has to make so our defense can react faster and get tackles for loss or no gain. Through the non-conference schedule, our team is focused on getting each other better, faster and stronger so we can win our conference games.”
While Morris and the Eagles are focused on all the little details, they also have that one extra special ingredient — belief.
“I feel great about my team,” Morris said. “I feel we have improved a lot since last year and believe we can take on any team as long as we all bring energy and play together like we have been. I am excited by all the improvement we have been making since last year, and I’m just ready to get out on the field and show it.”
Morris also competes in track for the Eagles and plays drums in the band.
Morris and the Eagles open the season at Batesville Southside at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 3.
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