Soaring to new heights… Morrell signs with Cumberland Phoenix to continue wrestling career

Published 12:54 pm Friday, May 1, 2020

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While the 2019-2020 wrestling season didn’t exactly turn out like Elizabethton High School senior grappler Hunter Morrell was hoping for, sometimes latching onto a second open door brings new life and a new future.
Morrell certainly is looking forward to what the future holds as he recently signed to continue his studies and wrestling for the Cumberland University Phoenix about four hours down I-40 in Lebanon, Tennessee.
The liberal arts university has over 2,500 students enrolled full time.
“My first visit to Cumberland University was over the summer of my junior year,” Morrell said. “When I saw how many of the members of the team were still spending their time working to get better in a hot wrestling team rather than resting at home, I knew it was a place that I could excel.”
At Elizabethton, Morrell had the opportunity that most young people don’t experience and that was being able to be coached by his father, Eddie Morrell, who is the program’s head wrestling coach.
Having his father as his coach was motivational in its own right as the younger Morrell strived to excel under his father’s tutelage.
“My father is the most important man to my success by far,” Morrell stated. “He was there every step of the way pushing me to be my best every single day and to wrestle every match like it was my last.
“I was blessed to have great practice partners that really pushed me to improve. Peyton Freeman and Alex Conley were two partners I had since middle school that never let me slack off and helped shape me into the wrestler I am today.”
Morrell has always desired to continue wrestling beyond his years at Elizabethton High School and when the chance came to jump on board at Cumberland University, it was one that Morrell couldn’t pass on.
“Wrestling in college has always been a dream of mine,” Morrell stated. “I feel so blessed to be given the opportunity to compete at one of the highest levels in wrestling and it’s not an opportunity that I am going to take for granted.”
In high school, Morrell was no stranger to competing on the big stage as he often found himself competing in district, regional, and state wrestling competitions.
With that type of experience and a personal wrestling style that many might consider unorthodox, Morrell hopes that those strengths will carry over to the collegiate level.
“My biggest strengths as a wrestler are my unorthodox or “funky” style of wrestling,” Morrell said. “My skill set and move choices are not very typical of an average wrestler.
“My other biggest strength is my ability to keep my cool and wrestle back into matches from being in bad positions.”
Even though Morrell enters collegiate wrestling with a decent skillset, he would be the first to admit there are some improvements that he will need to focus on going forward.
“Strength is always something when transitioning to college that you have to improve on,” Morrell commented. “College wrestling has a different pace than high school that I’m definitely gonna have to get used to as well as the longer matches.”
Morrell is going to study business and hopes one day to be able to open a wrestling club.

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