• John Macon Gillespie

Morphis Stands Out During Big Season For Pontotoc

Pontotoc’s Austin Morphis is an outstanding athlete. The kind of player who can take over a game and change the course of a season. His 6’3 200-plus pound frame combined with plenty of athleticism would make that obvious to anyone who watches him play.

In 2017 the Pontotoc Warriors will need Morphis to rise to that level, if they are to build on their special run last season.

Jeff Carter, who guided the Warriors to a 13-2 record that culminated in the 4A North championship, won 2016 SES Coach of the Year. This time just two years ago the program was coming off of it’s second straight three-win season.

“It was lot of fun. I will never forget that season,” Morphis told SES Mississippi. “We went out every Friday night holding nothing back. We expect nothing but the best effort from everybody every Friday night.”

During his freshman and sophomore seasons he caught just 11 passes both seasons. Instead he was more productive in the running game. His freshman season he even took snaps at quarterback.

However, as a junior Morphis emerged in a big way on both sides of the ball. With Gabe Harmon becoming a fixture at running back, Morphis was able to play receiver and safety on defense. He caught 64 passes for 954 yards and 10 touchdowns. On defense he recording 38 tackles and deflected eight passes.

“Just going through the grind. Doing anything and everything to prepare myself for every Friday night,” Morphis said when asked how he made a leap in production.

That very mindset, not unlike his love for the game, came honest. Morphis says that he and his father speak often about football.

“I discuss it all with my pops,” Morphis explained. “We always talk about players and how good they were in high school before they got to college.”

“He says that I’m going to be one of a kind, if I put forward the effort.”

In fact, that’s not their only common ground. Morphis sports a unique look with his facial hair. His lamp chop sideburns almost connect to form a full beard. According to Morphis his dad wore the same look because “he would always tell me he was the only one that could grow them.”

“I just figured since mine can grow, why not,” He said.

That hard work will help Morphis reach the next tier of his potential this fall. He says that’s exactly the recipe for his team to reach their ultimate goal.

“We have to go through the grind all summer long and not let up,” He stated.

As coach Carter enters his third season as the head coach, he is going on four years at Pontotoc. That means he and Morphis are sure to be on the same page in the two-way playmakers final campaign.

“We have the same mindset. All we want to do is win,” Morphis said.

Playing for Carter and carrying the tradition of the Warrior program is something that Morphis is quite proud of. His experience has been special thanks to his home turf.

“It’s an honor to play down in the Hollow,” He said.

This offseason Morphis plans to attend the Fortius Project at ICC. He is sure to be a standout in a talented field of competitors.

“I know there are a lot of great athletes that are going to be there. I’m ready for that competition,” Morphis explained. “I’m going out there to have fun and try to get better. I hope my speed will stand out.”

Speed, along with quickness, is where his focus will be this offseason as he looks to improve his game.

#Pontotoc #JohnLukeMcCord

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