Morrison cradles pressure with ease

Caroline Liebel, Staff Reporter

Although only a sophomore, Robert Morrison is a key player for the boys varsity lacrosse team. Starting varsity as a freshman, Morrison has high hopes for the season.
“Last year we were an average team,” Morrison said. “This year we are definitely going to be district champs. We are a young team, but a strong team.”
New head coach (and Robert’s father) Eric Morrison decided to cancel the Junior Varsity team to create a large varsity team, along with a practice team made up of freshman who did not make varsity. According to Morrison, having his father as his head coach has not added much pressure.
“He’s harder on me than the other kids,” Morrison said. “It’s not too bad though; it will only make me better.”
According to his dad, Morrison has the potential to be an impact player this year, but he would like to see him taking the shot more.
“Lacrosse is a team sport, and Robert is not a selfish player,” coach Morrison said. “He would rather feed the ball to a teammate than take the shot himself. But he wants to be better than last year, and I expect that he will increase his number of goals to become one of the leading scorers on the team.”
Junior Kenneth Palmer also lauds Morrison’s positive attitude.
“He has a great attitude about playing,” Palmer said. “He’s easy to work with and is a good teammate. He has the potential to score a lot of goals and lead the team.”
According to Morrison, his father initially inspired him to play lacrosse.
“He played in high school and in college,” Morrison said. “He really was my biggest influence.”
Morrison has had years of experience with lacrosse, playing for recreational and travel lacrosse leagues before playing for FHS, which contribute to his skill and leadership.
“As a returning varsity starter, Robert knows what it means to be a leader,” coach Morrison said.  “As a freshman, Robert gained a lot from last year’s seniors and team captains. With the four seniors on the team, there is a strong leadership presence. Robert knows what it takes to be a leader, and I look for great things from him over the next two seasons.”
Morrison also plays for the Battelax elite travel team, a lacrosse league for Fauquier and surrounding counties. According to Morrison, the travel lacrosse team faces highly skilled competition from states like Maryland. Although college seems far away, Morrison has already begun looking at schools where he could play lacrosse, including Washington & Lee and Roanoke College.
“Robert is disciplined and committed to the sport,” coach Morrison said. “As soon as he knew he loved the sport, he had a stick in his hand working countless hours on his skills. He is also great at meeting his academic and athletic responsibilities.”
To be able to compete at the collegiate level, Morrison knows there are skills he needs to work on, especially stick handling with his less dominant hand.
“I need to improve my off hand,” Morrison said. “It’s the biggest aspect that college coaches look for.”
With any athlete there are pressures to perform well, but Morrison feels extra pressure that comes from being a younger player who is counted on so heavily.
“It’s tough sometimes,” Morrison said. “But I’ve got a great team around me to take some of the pressure off. The biggest problem I faced last year was my size, but I had a around me to keep my confidence up even when I wasn’t doing too hot.”