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Game exploits, practice ethic make Morris stand out

 (The Spokesman-Review)
Morris (The Spokesman-Review)

Tim Morris is a big back at a-not-so-big school.

He’s an offensive standout with a defensive mindset.

He’s a quiet guy who’s always heard.

Morris, a 6-foot-3, 210-pound tailback and safety for 2A power Medical Lake, scored four touchdowns in the Cardinals’ 35-0 season-opening win over Ephrata last Friday.

But it’s not just Morris’ on-field exploits that has first-year Medical Lake coach Mike Henry raving.

“He’s the kind of player I got into coaching for,” Henry said. “Not just for his physical abilities, which are great, but just the attitude he brings to the game. He’s just a silent leader. He sets a great example. He works hard everyday, every practice, every drill. He leads by example. He’s not really that vocal. He’s a pretty quiet kid, but he makes his presence known.”

Morris credits his work ethic to his father, who is retired from the Air Force.

“He always told me it’s better to do your thing and they’ll follow by example,” Morris said.

“(Morris) plays the game the way it is supposed to be played. He always plays hard,” Henry said. “It doesn’t matter if it is in practice or a game or a warm-up, Tim only has one speed.”

Despite his size, that one speed is fast, something that comes as a surprise to Medical Lake’s opponents.

“I think I do surprise them, because they don’t think a kid that big would be that fast,” Morris said. “But against us, they have to do a lot of that because a lot of our linemen are pretty big, and they’re really quick too.”

It also allows the senior to fly around the field on defensive, delivering blows.

“If I could only play one,” Morris said, repeating a question, “it would be offense, because that’s where my team needs me.”

Last year the Cardinals were undefeated entering the state playoffs, only to see their running game stifled by East Valley (Yakima) in a 17-12 defeat. This year, Medical Lake’s goal is to mix in more passing, a goal Morris likes.

“It opens up a lot of things,” Morris said. “Last year’s team was awesome but you kinda knew what we were going to do. This year we switch it up, so it keeps the defense honest.”