From many, there will be one. And while there’s still no guarantee contending athletes will win their own state at this point in the season, a number of elite performers are making a case for Gatorade National Boys Soccer Player of the Year consideration. Here’s the scoop on the latest top candidate.
Junior midfielder, Sandra Day O’Connor (Phoenix, Ariz.)
Greatness Present: Compared to what Musa Morris has been through, every game on the pitch is like a walk in the park, which is maybe why the junior midfielder makes prep soccer seem so easy.
A Liberian native, Morris lost both his parent to that country’s civil war and emigrated to Phoenix via a refugee camp in Nigeria, according to The Glendale Star. With the help of O’Connor head coach Harry Demos and his wife Fran, who serve as the teen’s legal guardians, Morris earned his U.S. citizenship along with his stepmother and four siblings.
On the pitch, the slick 5-foot-8, 145-pound Morris plays with a sense of freedom, recording team highs of eight goals and seven assists through the first 11 matches of this season for the Eagles (9-2). He collected a goal and an assist in Thursday’s 6-1 victory over crosstown rival Pinnacle High.
But his past has helped him keep his priorities in order for the future.
“I know that soccer could end at any time and that is why I study so hard in school,” Musa told the local paper. “I need my studies so that if I don’t make soccer, I will have a great education to fall back on.”
Greatness Past: A returning First Team All-Arizona selection, Morris tallied 16 goals and 16 assists as a sophomore, leading O’Connor to an 18-3 record and the 2014 Division I state semifinals last season.
Greatness Future: Morris has already verbally committed to a soccer scholarship at the University of Portland beginning in the fall of 2016.
Make no mistake: The Gatorade State Boys Soccer Player of the Year races aren’t over, and the National POY race is now heating up. Time remains for one standout student-athlete among thousands to rise to the top of our list. Check back for daily updates on the top contenders making their case.