Call her a game changer. A competitor. A gazelle.
Just don’t call Morgan Weaver the best. She will object at the same fast rate of speed as she moves down the soccer field.
“I never say yes,” Curtis High School’s star forward said. “I don’t think it’s my place to say I’m the best because I don’t think that’s true.”
That’s the thing about Weaver. She is so focused on her play that she doesn’t realize just how dominant her skills are.
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But others do, and for the second consecutive year, Weaver is The News Tribune’s All-Area Player of the Year. In addition to registering 17 goals and 10 assists to help the Vikings to repeat as 4A SPSL champions, the junior has already given an oral commitment to play at Washington State University in 2016.
But even with those credentials, Weaver, who also plays for Washington Premier FC, a club team, maintains that she’s nothing special.
“I have a great team,” she said. “Look at the others — they could be the best, too.”
Curtis coach Frank Hankel isn’t shy about praising her, though.
“She is a fantastic player,” he said. “It’s great she’s on our team and we’re not having to defend against her.
“One of the great things about her is that she makes those around her better.”
Last year, Weaver’s speed earned her the nickname “Baby Deer” from her teammates. This season, she has evolved into an even faster creature.
“The kid’s like a gazelle,” Hankel said. “She just runs. I haven’t seen a player 20, 30, 40 yards who can keep up with her.”
Weaver can’t help but laugh at the nicknames.
“It’s kind of funny,” she said. “One of our captains will say, ‘There goes the Baby Deer! There she goes!’ ”
Known for a strong, familial chemistry, Weaver said that her team’s early exit from the state playoffs was “really depressing.” Curtis lost to Jackson, 2-1, after a 4-2 shootout in the first round.
“But I still have next year,” she said, “and hopefully we do better. It was an upset — we thought we were going to go farther, but Jackson’s a good team. Hopefully, they make it far.”
Hankel said that despite her bubbly personality, when it’s game time, Weaver is all business.
“She’s such a competitor that when the game gets bigger — as it did when we played Puyallup — it pushes her to rise up and be a better player. Like (she is saying), “You can put two or three players on me, and I’m still going to score.’ ”
And opponents take note.
Curtis split its series with its 4A SPSL South rival Puyallup this year, but Puyallup coach Matt White noted that statistically, his team should have won the second match.
“We had more shots, more corners, we outpossessed them, but then you go, ‘Oh yeah, Morgan changed the game.’ She directly contributed to all three goals.
“Morgan Weaver can single handedly change a game.”
Weaver not only takes the praise in stride, she deflects it.
“It feels pretty great, but couldn’t do anything without my team,” she said. “They’re a huge help.”
Weaver admitted that there are mornings when she just wants to stay in bed. But then the competitive edge takes over.
“If I don’t (practice), I could get injured,” she said. “Or someone could take my spot.”
Weaver played basketball as a child, but other than racing dirt bikes with her family a few times a year, soccer is her main passion. She said she may pursue a sports-related major in college.
“I’ve been around it forever,” she joked. “I can’t get away from it.”
Growing more serious, she added that she couldn’t imagine not playing.
“It feels amazing,” she said. “I love it.”