|Lights, Cameras, Action.....|
|Written by Mike Kelly|
|Monday, 26 September 2011 19:41|
Senior Will Morgan of the Watuaga High football team has big dreams.And playing college football doesn't even come close. No, Morgan, who grew up in Louisiana before moving to the High Country last fall, has asperations of be an actor/director one day. UCLA, UNC-Wilmington and a film school in Paris, France are all possibilities upon graduation.
"If I put on 30 more pounds, and grew about four more inches by next year, I might consider playing college football," Morgan said with a grin on his face. "No, I'm afraid to say this is it for me when the football season ends. It's time to do something else, and acting and directing is something I really hope to do."
Morgan got a chance to taste the limelight when he was still living in Louisiana. He got the chance to appear in a couple of films with Kevin Bacon and Liv Tyler. It was a great experience, and it left a lasting impression.
"It was nice getting to work with Kevin Bacon," Morgan said. "A lot of times you think someone in his position will put themselves above others. But that wasn't the case. He was a nice guy, and he had a dry sense of humor. He was a lot of fun to be around.
'This is what I really want to do. I want to get into film. No doubt about it. Clint Eastwood is someone I really admire as a director and as an actor. He's made some great movies both in front of and from behind the camera."
But for now, Morgan's fully focused on making this a special senior year on the grid-iron. And so far, the results have been more than favorable. For a team that was loaded with questions and doubt, the Pioneers are enjoying their best season in four years.
WHS is currently 2-0 and in a three-waY tie for first place (with Alexander Central and South Caldwell) in the Northwestern 3A/4A Conference. And the Pioneers have won three in a row. Their longest winning streak since 2008. And the Pioneers made a statement by knocking off Hickory last Friday night, avenging a 42-0 loss last season.
"Our goal is just to win this week," he said. "And being consistent on defense every week. It's the approach we take. These past games we've really shown that. All we talked about among ourselves was that embarrassing loss last year. Coach (Klay) Anderson said we were just abused last year. We came out with a vengence; we wanted it more than Hickory did."
And Morgan gives all the credit to his defensive coaches, Anderson and Preston Clark. Those guys have jump started a defensive unit that gave up an average of 23 points and nearly 200 yards on the ground a game in 2010.
"Coach Anderson and Clark, give all the credit to them," Morgan said. "They shine through us. The chemistry of our team has really improved because of those two guys. We're a close-knit team because of them. They focus on what we're doing out there. We've become a family, we're brothers fighting for each other. That's a big reason why we've been so successful."
And Morgan has really stepped up his game this season. He has 31 tackles, six tackles-for-loss and 2.5 quarterback sacks in six games this season. And he was a huge force last Friday night as the Pioneers blanked Hickory.
"(Kyle Johnson) is a good quarterback," Morgan said. "He's a strong arm, and he's a good passer. But you can't throw if you're on your back. We just put the pressure on him last week. We just outplayed them up front. It was a big win, a statement win for us. We refuse to be the red-headed step child this season. And we're tired of people's assumptions of what we can or can't do on the field. We play hard, and we've outplayed our first two opponents. That's why we're 2-0 in the conference. And our goal is to win the conference."
Something the Pioneers haven't done since 2007. Prior to that, the Pioneers last won a conference championship way back in 1981.
"Why not us," Morgan said. "We have to show people that we're for real. That we're here to play football every time we step on the field. And no matter if we're up 42-0, or if we're down 42-0, we're going to play every play like it's the first play of the game. We have a chip on our shoulders. We have a lot of fight in us."
Morgan is part of a linebacking corps, that without question, is the heart of WHS's defense. That unit---Morgan, Cody McKinney, Alex Fox and Colin Augustine---has racked up 169 tackles, 24.5 TFL and 6.5 quarterback sacks in six games.
"We really like each other," Morgan said. "We really get along, and we have a lot of fun at practice and during games. We have a way being on the same page during games; we just know what the other guy is thinking all the time. We recognize things on the field, and we adjust real well. We just feed off each other."
But despite his determinations on the field, Morgan admits acting and directing is what he really wants to do when it's time to hang up the cleats.
"I'll always love football, but I really want to get into film school," he said. "Being behind a camera is such a great experiences. It gives you the chance to create a story, a thought an idea that people don't see in normal life.
"When I played football in Louisiana, I would audition for film there during the off-season. And I was in two films with Kevin Bacon and Liv Tyler, and I just fell in love with it. That's my dream, my passion, and that's what I'm driving after."
And Morgan has displayed that same attitude on the football field this season.
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