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Sarah Heywood and Emmory Morrell named to Academic All-State team

Feb 17, 2023 10:39AM ● By Liisa London Mecham

Sarah Heywood

Morgan High Basketball teammates Sarah Heywood and Emmory Morrell have been named to the 3A Girls’ Basketball Academic All-State team. The girls, both who are seniors and maintain a 4.0 GPA, received their recognition certificates during Senior Night at Morgan.

Heywood and Morrell represent a small group of 3A girls’ basketball players who excel not only on the court but in the classroom as well. To qualify for the team, a student-athlete must have a 4.0 GPA or fulfill the combined ACT score and GPA requirements. 

Heywood is the daughter of Klint and Leslie Heywood. She plans to attend Snow College following graduation. She received a half-tuition academic scholarship and will be interviewing for an ambassador scholarship in a few weeks. Heywood hasn’t decided on her future career, but she is considering possible majors in elementary education, special education or American Sign Language (ASL) interpreting. She is also considering an LDS mission after graduating from Snow. While at Snow, she looks forward to playing intramural basketball and working to fit in all of her other hobbies.

At Morgan High, Heywood has been a four year choir member, beginning with the Millennial Choir her freshman year and singing with the Ovation Choir the other three. She is a member of the National Honor Society. She participated in theater productions during her freshman year. Heywood loves ASL and ceramics. She enjoyed her ceramics classes with John Pincock so much that she now has her own pottery wheel and studio at home.

“Taking state my sophomore year is definitely my best basketball memory,” Heywood said. “I was pulled up to varsity right before state, and it was really enjoyable to learn how varsity worked, feeling what it was like to be on varsity and then taking state.”

Heywood looks up to English teacher Shasta Breshears as a mentor. “She is always so interested in her students,” she said. “[Breshears is] so invested in them and helps them and helps us get caught up if we are away for sports. I look up to her academically and also in how she relates to others.”

“Athletically, I really find Coach Mack motivating,” Heywood said. “My freshman year, he recruited me to play basketball due to my height,” she said. “He saw something in me and pushed me to reach that potential and to discover talents that I didn’t know I had.”

“Another person whom I highly respect athletically is my older brother, Kyle,” she said. “Kyle is my oldest brother and the only other sibling to play basketball. He understands the game and helps me, and gives me tips. It’s great to have this bond with him.”

Heywood loves the title Academic All-State because it shows the hard work that athletes do to put it all together on the court and in the classroom. “It’s a goal that I had and that my parents had for me. To earn Academic All-State is so great!”

 Morrell is the daughter of Kade and Michelle Morrell. Her post-graduation plans will take her to St. George, where she will attend Utah Tech on an academic scholarship. Although Morrell hasn’t completely decided on her future career, she knows that she wants to do something involving children, either a child psychologist or some type of law relating to children. “I love children,” Morrell said. 

Morrell is a four-year varsity member of the basketball team. She is a member of the National Honor Society and the Hope Squad. She played soccer her freshman year but chose to focus on basketball the remaining three years. 

One of her favorite memories, in addition to taking state her sophomore year, was being with her team the night before winning state in the haunted hotel room in Richfield.

Morrell said she is super honored to be named to the Academic All-State team. “One of my biggest goals throughout high school has been to keep my 4.0 GPA. It’s a lot of work and effort. These have been some very stressful years.”

One of her most challenging academic classes was Shana Crofts’ Chemistry class. “She made you learn. She taught me how to study and work hard,” Morrell said. Two of her favorite classes have been Stats 1040 and Gwen Romero’s English class. “Mrs. Romero is just the most inspirational teacher,” she said.

Morrell said that Mack, Girls’ Head Coach, has “definitely taught me to take advantage of all that I’ve been given; the good educational opportunities I have and the great athletic opportunities. I need to take advantage of every opportunity I have and never let it pass.”

“My Grandpa and Grandma Hansen have shown me so much support along with my immediate family,” Morrell said. “They have supported me in school, piano recitals, sports, everything. They have shown me who I want to be like when I grow up.”

Finally, Morrell shared her wisdom about how to balance the academic and athletic demands of a student athlete. “You don’t sleep much,” she said, “but once you learn that it’s not possible to separate the two, and you figure out how to combine the two and work around each other, it helps so much. Work together, not against.”

“I do homework while I watch the freshmen play and try to use all of my time wisely. If you plan high school well and work your butt off your freshmen, sophomore and junior years,” she said. “You get to go ahead and enjoy your senior year. In the end, it’s so worth it to work hard. The accomplishment of knowing you worked hard and did it on your own makes it so worth the hard work.”

Spotlights on additional Academic All-State winners from Winter Sports will be featured in the coming weeks. Congratulations to the following students: Rylan Crowther, Boys’ Wrestling; Cade Johnson, Boys’ Basketball; Capri Rich, Competitive Cheer; Jayden Limb, Competitive Cheer.

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