Prep of the year: Amanda Morse

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Prep of the year: Amanda Morse

Skylar Strotz, Lifestyles Editor

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Standing in the middle of the freshly cut field surrounded by hundreds of teammates, friends, and fans is a leader. Since the very first day she stepped on the lacrosse field, senior Amanda Morse has dominated as an athletic threat and acted as the uniting force for her team.

Morse began her athletic journey at the age of eight, not with lacrosse, but following in her dad’s footsteps playing soccer. But in third grade, Morse’s best friend, senior Erin McCarthy, along with Erin’s dad, David McCarthy, convinced Morse to give lacrosse a try.

“[Erin’s] dad was coaching the team so I thought it would be a really fun opportunity for me. Once I started playing I just fell in love with the sport, so much more than soccer,” Morse said.

Ever since third grade, lacrosse has been Morse’s driving sport and motivation for self-improvement. David has had the opportunity to watch Morse grow and progress into the talented lacrosse player that she is today. Through it all, he says her positive attitude and determination have always shone through.

“I knew her as a little girl in pigtails and the girl all dressed up in her senior prom gown, so I have seen both sides of the spectrum. All the way she has been genuine, good-hearted and good-natured,” David said.

Only a year after first starting to play lacrosse, Morse, Erin and several of their teammates began playing for the Southern Marin Wolfpack club team. As they got older and their dexterity for the sport progressed, they joined more advanced clubs and teams. When Morse was in seventh grade she joined “Tenacity,” a more elite club team. For the past two years in a row, she has played for the Under Armour All-American team. This year she has risen to the highest level of competition as she was nominated to play for the Adrenaline All-American team.

“It makes me feel super excited and it makes me feel like everything I’ve done throughout high school to get exposure to college and get recruited to play at the next level has paid off,” Morse said.

At Redwood, Morse has played on varsity all four years, with a total of 76 games. Throughout her high school career, she scored a total of 164 goals and maintained a faceoff percentage of 94.6 percent, according to MaxPreps. Morse strives to win as many faceoffs at the beginning of games and after goals as possible.

Morse’s stats are impressive, but even more admirable is her ability to lead on the team. Co-captain Erin was especially grateful for their final year playing together.  

“Amanda has been a leader throughout the entire [season] and a person to look to when we need some stability on our team. She has really stepped up this year to provide not only as a player but as a coach on and off the field. She’s been the person that teammates can go to to get advice or help,” Erin said.  

These perfected leadership skills took some years of trial and error for Morse to figure out the most effective way to motivate her team.

“As a freshman, it was hard because there were a lot of seniors on our team and they were all good friends. So I decided to come onto the team with my main goal just being wanting playing time,” Morse said.

As she became more comfortable, she decided to lead by example as she tends to be dominant on the field.

“If you have ever seen Amanda on the lacrosse field, she’s automatically a person who stands out. Every girl on our team really looks up to her. She gives 110 percent every time she steps out on the field. She is always looking out for her teammates and making sure that if they did something wrong, correcting them in a nice way and sharing her knowledge of lacrosse and her love for the game,” Erin said.

This season, Morse and Erin have had to adapt to the new circumstance of being coach-less, yet still persevering with complete effort. Only a few months into their season, their coach unexpectedly quit leaving them without an official staff leader for the remainder of the season.

“We basically reminded everyone that this doesn’t have anything to do with us and we got the team fired up. We are obviously really good this year; I think a lot of this has to do with our leadership,” Morse said.

Robert Ott stepped up to coach the team for the remainder of the year to help, as he called it, “choreograph their dance.”

“Our motor gets started and run by how Amanda plays. One of the things that she [does] well is that she sets the speed and the example of how we’re going to be doing out here,” Ott said.   

The lacrosse field is not the only place that Morse’s leadership skills are present. She has also been an active member of the Redwood soccer team. During her freshman year, she was captain of the JV team and she started on varsity for the three years following. Though her numbers in soccer are not quite as extensive as those in lacrosse, she is still a stand-out player.

“Soccer is my season to just have fun and enjoy playing a sport. I don’t hold myself to these high standards that I do in lacrosse. In soccer, if we win or lose a game, it’s still fun,” Morse said.   

Next year Morse is committed to playing Division 1 lacrosse at University of California, Berkeley. She looks forward to the new level of commitment and intensity that the following years have to offer.

“What I’m most excited for is pushing myself as both a student and an athlete, and seeing how far I can push myself physically and see how much better I can get as a player, being exposed to much better competition,” Morse said.