Mor­gan named Wendy’s POY

Ben­ton’s Mor­gan earns big honor

The Saline Courier Weekend - - FRONT PAGE - By Tony Le­na­han tle­na­[email protected]­ton­courier.com

BEN­TON – Af­ter one of the best sea­sons in Ben­ton High School his­tory, which in­cluded a gold medal in the 5A State Tour­na­ment help­ing the Pan­thers to their first state ti­tle, Ben­ton se­nior Seth Mor­gan has been named the Wendy’s Player of the Year in bowl­ing.

“It re­ally means a lot be­cause I went through a lot dur­ing my early high school bowl­ing years be­cause I had to com­pletely move schools and leave ev­ery­thing that I knew just to go bowl at Ben­ton,” Mor­gan said of the Wendy’s honor. “Af­ter that ded­i­ca­tion that I had, I feel honored.”

Mor­gan won the gold medal with game of 237, 205 and a day’s best 289 in his fi­nal game for a 731 se­ries to help the Pan­thers sur­pass run­ner-up Siloam Springs 4,163 - 4,103 in to­tal pins.

“That was pretty huge,” Mor­gan said of his 289. “I

can’t be­lieve I did some­thing like that. I’ve ac­tu­ally shot 289 five times dur­ing the last two months of high school.”

Mor­gan started bowl­ing in sixth grade and started his high school bowl­ing ca­reer as a sopho­more at Ben­ton. Mor­gan ex­plained that he took an al­ter­nate route to his bowl­ing success.

“A lot of peo­ple say you

can get re­ally, re­ally good by be­ing coached or by hav­ing peo­ple telling you what to do,” he said. “Through­out my years of bowl­ing, I’ve never been taught. I found that pretty unique be­cause it’s pretty rare to find that. Just learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ences. I use the tech­nique of two hands and the power of my mind be­hind it. It’s a huge mental game.”

Earn­ing All-state his ju­nior and se­nior sea­sons, Mor­gan helped the Pan­thers win the con­fer­ence tour­na­ment two straight years,

in­clud­ing a sil­ver medal this past year with a 637 se­ries, but fell short of state his ju­nior year be­fore com­ing back to lead the squad to the state ti­tle his fi­nal year.

“Just the feel­ing of win­ning con­fer­ence twice and com­ing back and win­ning state the sec­ond year was huge,” he said. “That’s in a once-in-a-life­time thing. It was in­sane. I didn’t re­ally make my team per­form. It was more of ev­ery­body came to­gether. We had cer­tain phrases, cer­tain at­ti­tudes, cer­tain things

we would do be­fore every match. One of the most im­por­tant ones was, ‘In and out, get it done.’ Most of us got that on the in­side our state rings. It was a team ef­fort. We all just had the same mind­set.”

Ben­ton bowl­ing Coach Brandy Chum­ley, who was named the Bowl­ing Coach of the Year for the sec­ond time, said Mor­gan was def­i­nitely the leader of the Pan­thers.

“Seth was the leader on the team,” Chum­ley said. “Ev­ery­body just re­spects

him. He’s a good guy and a re­ally good bowler. The other kids looked up to him. He was kind of our rally per­son as far as get­ting ev­ery­body on the same page and work­ing hard. They would meet at the bowl­ing al­ley on their own time.

“With his heart and his de­sire and want­ing to win, es­pe­cially be­ing so close the last few years, we owe a lot to Seth.”

Mor­gan was plan­ning to turn pro im­me­di­ately out of high school, but will put those plans on hold for the

time be­ing.

“I’ve al­ways wanted to not re­ally go to school and just bowl for the rest of my life, just go pro and go to a tech­ni­cal school,” he said. “I’ve been pretty smart in school, fin­ished with a 3.76 (GPA) and I’m headed to a fouryear pri­vate col­lege. I got ac­cepted and got a bowl­ing schol­ar­ship to Ok­la­homa Chris­tian Univer­sity. I plan on do­ing four years and get­ting and de­gree in mar­ket­ing and busi­ness.”

Spe­cial to The Saline Courier

Ben­ton se­nior Seth Mor­gan shows off his gold medal af­ter out­bowl­ing ev­ery­one at the 5A State Tour­na­ment. Mor­gan was re­cently named the Wendy’s Player of the Year in bowl­ing for his ex­el­lent sea­son and will take his tal­ents to Ok­la­hama Chris­tian Univer­sity on a bowl­ing schol­ar­ship.

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