Coach of the Year: Morrell has fine farewell to sideline
by Chris Byess
cbyess@cherokeetribune.com
December 23, 2012 01:13 AM | 2185 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
CANTON — Despite his six mostly successful years as a head coach in Cherokee County, Creekview’s Al Morrell had never managed to be named the Cherokee Tribune’s Football Coach of the Year.

After announcing midway through the season that he would be retiring at the end of the year, Morrell’s players did what they could to ensure that their coach would get the honor he deserved as Creekview ended the year a county-best 9-2, with three wins against county teams and the program’s first home playoff game.

For leading the Grizzlies to the top of the county football scene, Morrell is the 2012 Cherokee Tribune Football Coach of the Year.

“Well it feels like quite an honor,” Morrell said. “I’m honored to be named the coach of the year in a good football county that plays in good regions and has good competition. I’m grateful and thankful.”

Not only did Creekview beat Cherokee, Sequoyah and River Ridge this season, it did so by a combined score of 76-33.

The Grizzlies were also the Region 7AAAAA (A) champion — finishing 5-0 in subregion play, and by a margin of 29.4 points.

Creekview’s offensive average of 35 points per game was a region-high, just as its average of allowing only 17 points a game defensively was the best in the region as well.

Its only loss of the season came by four points to perennial playoff team Kell.

With such gaudy numbers for his team, Morrell considered the season to be a huge success.

“I thought our kids played their hearts out the entire year and did everything in their power to win, just as my coaching staff did as well,” Morrell said. “I can’t call it perfect, but it was a great season and a great memory that I’ll never forget. That is all you can ask for.”

Now retired from football, Morrell has started on projects around his house to fill his time.

“I’m staying equally as busy, but there is a little less pressure,” he joked.

Morrell admitted that the decision to retire was a difficult one.

“I had mixed emotions,” he said of calling it quits. “I loved what I did for a living. The current administration has been very supportive, and my assistant coaches have been very loyal and great friends, but a part of me just said that it was time for a change.”

As for the future, Morrell plans on taking it slow.

“I’m just going to take things one day at a time and see what happens,” he said. “You never know what will come up.”
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