A+ Athlete: Haley Morgan, Durant

This week's A+ Athlete is Haley Morgan of Durant High School.

Haley is an all-state catcher for the Lady Lions softball team. She helped the team reach the state tournament, and is a three time district MVP. She is also a 10-time state qualifier in track, a two year starter in basketball, and a member of the power-lifting team.

"I really feel like sports and school goes hand in hand," Morgan said. "My academics have always been important to me and have shaped me into the start of who I am. Sports go right along with it."

"Leadership is caring more about those around you than you do yourself. She is the epitome of that," head softball coach Cody Little said. "She is always the first one off the bench and is excited for somebody else. If somebody did something good like threw a strikeout or made a good play or got a hit she was the first kid off the bench to go and congratulate them."

Besides being a model teammate, Haley is also a model student. She is ranked number one in her class. She is academic all-state in softball, a member of national honors society, a member of FCA and student council. She has won 1st place in curriculum contests in Trigonometry, Spanish and Personal Finance.

It is the way Haley goes about things that catch the eye of those who know her. She donates her time to fundraising events for the Boys and Girls Club, community improvement projects through Durant Main Street, gives softball lessons to kids, and greets children at the elementary schools.

"She just does the right thing because it's the right thing to do." science teacher Jon Hazell said. "She just has a maturity beyond her years of understanding that just doing the right thing and working hard are good attributes and qualities that you should have. I don't think she is motivated by attention or people for all that kind of stuff. It is just something inside of her that drives her to be successful."

"My oldest brother Dalton, has autism," Morgan explained. "My other brother, Brody, came up with the saying it's 'my why' to succeed. My brother never got the chance. So through him, coming up, with that plays a big part in everything I do. Whether it is in the classroom or on the field, everything is for him."