Chronicle: Matthew Morrell’s hand-eye coordination is out of this world


Matthew Morrell, who is 6ft 4in and weighs 200lbs, might have a future catching passes in football or using his 92mph fastball in baseball, but there is another sport that offers a clearer illustration of his exceptional hand-eye coordination.

“It’s a monster ping pong player show,” baseball coach John Weber said. “There is no one who will beat Matthew.”

Last year, Santa Ana Foothill’s Austin Overn demonstrated the value of being a multi-sport athlete, playing as a catcher in football, a standout center back in baseball, and running 10.49 seconds for 100 yards on the track. . He is now at USC.

Morrell, who signed up for Oregon State for baseball, has the same type of physical and mental build that can help him pull off a similar result. He helped lead Cypress to a 3-0 start in football. He has 16 receptions for 278 yards and three touchdowns.

“I grew up playing all sports,” he said. “I feel it’s good. They all come together and use certain moves. My father pushed me to try everything. I will see at the next level what is the best option for me and my family.

He certainly has the speed to run away from defenders, and his ability to make catches anywhere and everywhere has coaches using the word “acrobatic” to best describe him.

A week ago he went over a defender to pinch the ball at the defender’s back, then shot it over the defender’s head to secure the hold.

“His acrobatic talent is insane for sure,” Weber said.

Says Morrell: “I love everything about the receiver. Running routes are like an art form. I’m fascinated by how to run routes. I like to show my athleticism by running, jumping, making good catches.

In baseball, Morrell was a better outfielder than pitcher last season due to his savagery on the mound. Yes, he throws hard, but learned to throw for Cypress. Throwing more strikes and gaining better command has been his focus in the offseason to gain the confidence of the coaching staff to throw in big games.

Some may have forgotten about Morrell this summer because he disappeared. He injured his hip due to a cavity in June, forcing him to miss seven-on-seven football tournaments and baseball showcases. He returned healthy for the start of August football training.

We do not know what he is capable of accomplishing. In a football game last season against Tustin, he rushed for 121 yards and a touchdown, passed for 119 yards and two touchdowns, and caught three passes for 59 yards. He can also kick.

“He’s a special athlete,” football coach Rick Feldman said.

Weber gives her an off-court endorsement: “If you had a girl, you’d want her to go out with him. He’s a great boy.”

Morrell recalls how many fans got excited last season watching Overn show what a multi-sport athlete could accomplish.

“This guy is a crazy athlete, watching him play football, track and field and baseball,” he said. “He could do anything and it was so cool to watch. He had everyone cheering him on because you don’t see him every day.

Morrell has Cypress fans screaming and screaming, and they haven’t even seen him at ping pong. It has its own paddle, which is a warning in itself.

“I’m doing pretty well,” he said. “I used to play every day when I was younger. It kind of comes easy to me.


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