The thought of specializing in one sport at Firestone High School never crossed the mind of Brooke Morgan.
Morgan’s talent and skill set allowed her to play a variety of sports as a youth, and that continued in high school on golf, cross country, basketball and track and field teams.
She contributed on nine City Series championship teams at Firestone, won three individual league titles and concluded a standout prep career this month with 13 letters.
“There is nothing like high school sports and that is probably what I will miss the most,” said Morgan, a Walsh University golf recruit. “In four years, you grow up competing with these people. I am just going to miss seeing all the same people at basketball games and track meets. Definitely being part of winning programs is so memorable.”
Firestone Athletic Director Brian Fuller said records at the school do not recognize which athlete has earned the most varsity letters in a career.
“I can’t speak to if it is the most letters ever earned, but I would think it is definitely up there in the top five or six in Firestone history,” said Fuller, a 1984 graduate of the high school and a former Falcons athlete. “She has got four in basketball, four in track and field, four in golf and one in cross country. That is pretty impressive. At one point, you have to balance two sports in the same season to earn that many letters.”
Fuller said several athletes have lettered in multiple sports and accumulated between six and 10 letters, but getting to a higher total is difficult and rare.
“There has to be just a few athletes in the history of Firestone with around that many letters,” Fuller said. “I would say, definitely, for a female, that is one of the top amounts of letters earned in the history of Firestone High School.”
Morgan, 18, helped Firestone’s basketball team win four league championships, its track and field team win three league titles and its cross country team win two league crowns.
“This year in track is a fond memory because we were not expected to win,” Morgan said. “Then, all of a sudden we hear our name in first place [on the PA system]. That was probably the most surprising moment I have ever had. Also, this year in basketball we were not favored to win, but we pulled out a victory [in the City final against Kenmore].”
Morgan said Firestone coaches Audley McGill, Reggie Floyd and Tim Carroll all helped with her development as an athlete. She credits her parents, former Beacon Journal sports writer David Lee Morgan Jr. and Tricia, for their support, and said brothers Trey (22) and Christian (19) and sister Cameron (14) have always been up for a backyard game.
“Playing with older boys and brothers, you always want to be as good as them or better than them,” Brooke Morgan said. “When I was younger, instead of playing basketball with girls I was playing basketball with my big brothers and their friends. That gave me an edge on my toughness and athleticism.”
Morgan won two City Series high jump titles in track and field and one long jump crown.
“Brooke is one of those athletes you can use in any event,” Carroll said. “We could use her in sprints, distance, jumps or hurdles. She helped us beat very good Buchtel track and field teams three out of her four years of high school to win the City Series championship and we most likely could not have done it without her. She competed in four events at the City meet this year, scoring a team-high 22 points and winning the high jump.”
Morgan rushed to the Division I district meet Friday at Nordonia after taking prom pictures to compete in three finals events.
“She gave it her all and I was crushed, as I am sure she was, that she missed going to regional in the 300-meter hurdles, which was her last event, by .04 seconds,” Carroll said. “Still, she ran her best time and broke the school record with a time of 48.04. Brooke has been an outstanding leader, and her hard work and love of track and field have greatly benefited Firestone High School.”
Morgan, who is 5-foot-6, was named prom queen later that night at the dance, but was bothered by the fifth-place finish because the top four advanced to the regional meet.
“I was heartbroken, but everything comes to an end,” she said. “I just gotta move on.”
A full letter jacket
Morgan’s Firestone letter jacket features her name in green with gold trim. There is one letter ‘F’ on the front and the word ‘GOLF’ on the back. She received three other ‘F’ letters (basketball, track and field, cross country) and has nine additional pins.
“I had no idea what lettering really was when I started high school,” Morgan said. “I basically knew that when my dad would go to interview high school athletes, I would see all of their accolades and see everything that they have accomplished, and I was like, ‘Man it would be great to do that one day.’ I never really strived for 13 letters, but here I am and it is awesome that I am at where I wanted to be at.”
Morgan served as a captain this year on the Falcons basketball and track and field teams, and also carries a 3.2 grade-point average.
Promising golf future
Morgan played basketball first as a child in recreational leagues, CYO and AAU. She then was introduced to golf in the First Tee of Akron program.
“It was really fun, but it was more a social program for me,” Morgan said. “Once high school came, I saw that I could actually golf.”
Morgan developed a passion for golf as a kid after her father gave her a 5-iron, 9-iron and putter. The clubs were cut for her brothers, but she showed a natural swing and love that a few years later caught the attention of Walsh University golf coach Christina Paone.
Morgan plans to double major in graphic design and corporate communications on scholarship at Walsh after graduating from Firestone on June 3.
“That is going to be a great opportunity for me because playing four sports, I was always going from season to season to season, but this time I will have a chance to actually develop my skills in one specific sport,” Morgan said. “I am looking forward to seeing my development in golf because I didn’t really get that chance with all of the sports.”
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the high school blog at http://www.ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MBeavenABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.