Academics, athletics go hand-in-hand for Sowell

dshirley@macon.comJune 14, 2014 


Morgan Sowell played football and soccer for Stratford and has been accepted into the honors program at Georgia.


Morgan Sowell had plenty of success on the athletic fields and in the classroom during his career at Stratford. But the senior said the two went hand-in-hand in forging his success.

Sowell played soccer for four years at Stratford and football for three. He won two state titles in soccer and lost in the title game two other times while reaching the football title game last fall, as well.

Sowell’s state titles didn’t stop there, as he won two Academic Bowl titles.

“Sports teaches you how to handle adversity when things don’t go well, so that helps you with a hard test or a difficult assignment,” said Sowell, The Telegraph’s Martha Pennyman Scholar-Athlete of the Year. “And it helps with time management. You don’t have a lot of time after practice for schoolwork, so you have to know what you’re doing and how to handle all of that.

“And a lot of sports are played between the ears. I’m not the fastest player, but I always felt like I was a step ahead, maybe, of my opponents. In football, it comes from watching film and knowing what you need to do, and in soccer, it’s from seeing the field and knowing what needs to happen.”

Sowell said he has been accepted into the honors program at Georgia, and he should be well-prepared when he gets there. He has a 4.2 GPA and scored 660 on the SAT in critical reading, 650 in writing and 800 in math. He scored 32 on the ACT in critical reading, 31 in writing and 33 in math.

“He’s a very intelligent young man, and you can see his critical thinking coming through when he’s on the field assessing a situation,” Stratford soccer head coach Ian Hayley said. “Soccer is an intelligent game, and you can’t be bionic out there. The great players have something extra, something the other players just don’t have. And Morgan has that with his intelligence.”

That helped Sowell have a record-setting career in soccer. He finished his career as the GISA’s career goals leader. He was named all-state the previous two seasons and all-region the previous three and was named to The Telegraph’s All-Middle Georgia team for the third straight year. He was also a captain last year and this year.

In football, Sowell was named all-region and all-state and to the All-Middle Georgia GISA team his final two seasons. He said he is planning on entering the pre-med program at Georgia.

“I love playing sports and competing, but academics are more important than athletics,” Sowell said. “That’s just what my family impressed on me. I’ve just always really enjoyed learning, and that helped make me a better athlete.”

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