Leader Male Athlete of the Year: Mustang Jarron Morris

Published 8:39 am Thursday, June 14, 2018

It was a whirlwind run for Jarron Morris as a West Orange-Stark Mustang.

He was part of a football class that practically never saw the Mustangs lose as WO-S advanced to four straight Class 4A Division II State Championship football games, winning two in 2015 and 2016.

No one had an answer to turn back the Mustangs and without a doubt Morris was a key cog in the equation, whether or not he was playing in his vaunted cornerback spot, wide receiver or being a devastating return man.

He was never through after football season either as the 2018 Orange Leader Male Athlete of the Year also excelled in both basketball and track.

“It was an amazing four-year run for sure,” said Morris. “It’s mind-blowing when you think about it, four straight years playing for a State Championship, I’m sure not many programs can say that and that’s something my teammates and I can hold on to for many years to come and we’ll have stories to tell for the rest of our lives.”

Of course, it took a lot of blood and sweat and plenty of extra effort for all involved to get the Mustangs to the pinnacle four straight years.

What a run it was. The last four seasons saw the Mustangs compile a 57-5 record, including a 40-game winning streak.

“When you play at West Orange-Stark, you’re going to be in better shape than anyone else you play, that’s just the way it has been year after year and when you work together like we did, it creates special bonds and you want to push yourself, just like the guy next to you was doing,” said Morris. “We pushed everyone to be the best possible player and teammate they could be and we were able to do that and win a bunch of games.”

Morris spent countless time on and off the field with his teammates from a very early age.

“I will always consider my teammates family because that’s what we were from the time we were little kids up until now,” said Morris. “So many of us grew up playing junior ball and dreaming what could be by the time we came Mustangs in high school. We’ve been pushing each other to be better since then. If we were not playing ball, we were usually getting together at someone’s house each weekend having fun. So the team unity started way back when we were kids and it just kept growing.”

Morris certainly enjoyed the dominant runs. The 2015 state title was sweet to him because many felt the Mustangs did not have it in them with such a small nucleus returning. Then in 2016 it was expected as the Mustangs rolled to a perfect 16-0 mark and outscored opponents 811-69 in the process.

In his senior campaign last year, there were many doubters about the Mustangs making a big run but that group, with a “never-say-die” attitude, kept plowing away after Hurricane Harvey interrupted the early part of the season and WO-S fought off some tough playoff competition to get back to Dallas.

“The 2015 state title was definitely sweet because we came so close the year before and so many people were doubting us because we were young and inexperienced but we knew we could do it and that’s all that mattered. In 2016, we knew we could do it if we stayed together as one. We did, and we dominated everybody we played. Last year was a grind for sure, dealing with Harvey, the pressure and knowing we had a ‘X’ on our chest against everyone we played. The playoffs last year was a test for sure but we always had that will to push through and win some close games, even though I felt we should have won some bigger. We had a chance to win it again and I would love to play that game again but what a run it was for sure.”

Morris was named the Most Valuable Player on the All-District 12-4A Team and the All-Orange Leader Team for his splendid senior campaign.

He led the Mustangs in interceptions, despite quarterbacks staying away from his side of the ball most of the season. He also found time to lead the Mustangs in receptions on offense while also bringing a kickoff and a punt back for scores. He averaged 27.2 yards per kickoff return and 15.9 on punt returns.

Morris, the son of Jennifer and Maurice Morris, will take his talents to Texas State to play for the Bobcats.

Morris headed to San Marcos right after graduation to start working out as he looks to help the Bobcats improve in the Sun Belt Conference.

“I’m really loving it up here and we’re working hard and I’m constantly working to make myself a better player,” said Morris. “To have an opportunity to play Division I football was always a dream of mine. We’re playing Rutgers to start the season and I can’t wait.”

Family played such a key role in Morris’ path.

“My family always pushed me to be the best I could be,” said Morris. “I can remember my Dad being tired and working long-hour shifts but they were always there, getting me to practices and coaching me up. My brother Maurice, I certainly looked up to him and he helped pave the way. I always loved to watch him play on Friday nights and I strived to be as good as he was.”

Morris had plenty of exploits off the gridiron as well.

He made the All-District Team and All-Orange Leader Team as a guard on the Mustang basketball team. The Mustangs made the playoffs and downed Jasper in a thrilling bidistrict playoff victory.

He also shined on the track team in the sprints and the relay units.

“I just like to keep myself busy and being a Mustang was special and will always be special,” said Morris. “I liked being the best possible teammate I could be and I just love being part of a team, there is nothing better than that. God has blessed me as for as having a great family, great teammates and great coaches and I’m so grateful for that.”