Alumni Spotlight Series: Morell flying with the UNCW Seahawks

Former Rattler, Michael Morell, made an impact in Reagan Soccer with recognition on Top Drawer Soccer’s All American watch list, United Soccer Coaches All Region team, Texas Association of Soccer Coaches All State 2nd team, District 26-6A All District 1st team and the UIL 6A All-Tournament team. Michael is continuing that success at the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) where he plays for this Division I Men’s Soccer program. Michael shares his experience and advice with us.

Q. What’s your major at UNCW?
A: I’ve applied to the Business school and have future plans for law or graduate school. 

Q: How do you balance academics with the commitments of a DI soccer program?
A: Reagan prepared me well for the academic rigor in college. Having had several AP level classes completed made it a smooth transition for me.  If needed, tutors are available for athletes.

Q: What has been your most memorable soccer moment at UNCW?
A: Definitely winning our Conference Championship. We won it with one game left so that made it special for our Seniors. We have a competitive conference with UNCW and James Madison considered to be the top programs.

Q. How did Covid-19 affect your season?
A: Since we play in the Fall, we got to finish our season. Once COVID hit, we weren’t able to scrimmage in the spring. To keep up with training, we get workouts sent to us with both running and soccer drills. Most of the workouts I complete on my own, but I have been able to get together with old club (Classic Elite) teammates to workout as well.  We’re not sure what the season will look like this Fall. Some of the schools we play have already cancelled their season.

Q: What is the biggest difference between playing HS and collegiate sports?
A: The level of play. Everyone is bigger, faster, stronger, so the physicality of the sport is at another level. Also, you have to balance living on your own with school, soccer, social, sleep, and working out. It’s non-stop, but I absolutely love it! 

Q What do you miss most about Reagan soccer?
A: Playing with friends who I’ve grown up playing with and playing for two great coaches: Coach Villarreal and Coach Boss. I also liked representing our school and our community.

Q: Which Reagan tradition meant the most to you?
A: The bus chants (especially after winning) and the camaraderie our team shared. 

Q: What advice would you give to current Rattlers thinking about competing at the next level?
A: Work hard. Anything is achievable. If you have aspirations to play at the next level, perfect your craft. It’s also important to find a program that you love on and off the field. At UNCW, I love that the coaches care about making me a better soccer player and a better person. At UNCW, we push each other to get the best out of each other on and off the field.

Thanks for sharing your journey so far. We wish you continued success and hope your team gets to compete this Fall!

Follow Michael and the Seahawks on Twitter at @UNCWMenssoccer