Trio of Morgan Academy seniors represent school in AISA All-Star game

Published 7:59 pm Monday, December 5, 2016

Morgan Academy football players John Tyler Fisher and Chase Utsey and Senators’ cheerleader Anna Catherine King participated in Friday’s Alabama Independent School All-Star Football Game at Cramton Bowl.

Weeks after playing the last football game of their senior year, Fisher and Utsey put back on their shoulder pads and helmets one last time. They played on the West team, which won the game over the East 33-30.

“When you think it’s your last game and then you have the opportunity to put the pads on one more time, it was definitely something to remember,” Fisher said.

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Fisher, a linebacker, and Utsey, a defensive lineman, each estimated that they had about four or five tackles on Friday night. Both players were thankful for the opportunity to play the game they love one more time.

“I was very happy because after our last game I was pretty upset about it because I’d played football since I was in third grade,” Utsey said. “Then when I got the news that I made all-stars, I was happy because I knew that there are a lot of other people that didn’t make it, and didn’t get that opportunity. It was a good opportunity and I was thankful to be able to attend the game.”

Although it was an all-star game, the final result meant a lot too. Morgan’s season ended with a 49-7 loss to eventual class AA champion Autauga Academy and it left a bad taste in both player’s mouths.

Friday’s win, even in an exhibition, was a much more fitting way for their seasons to end.

“We wanted to have fun, but we really did want to win the game,” Utsey said. “We practiced harder than the other team I believe, and we all wanted it pretty bad. It’s just good to go out there and win one last game before you’re done for good.”

Utsey said the West team was in shoulder pads going through tackling drills as soon as it got to Montgomery on Wednesday.

While the players didn’t know they’d be playing in the game until a few weeks ago, King has known since summer that she’d get to be there. She tried out on the first day of UCA cheer camp and qualified for the all-star game.

She’ll also get to cheer during the AISA All-Star Basketball Game early next year.

King said she enjoyed getting to meet the girls from other schools.

“At cheer camp you are competing with all those girls and you don’t get to bond with them, but at the all-star game you can get close to them,” she said.

“You know you’ll get to see them at the all-star basketball game as well.”