Monthly Awards

Athlete of the Month - July 2009 Morgan McCardell - Santa Barbara Water Polo Foundation

I would like to nominate Morgan McCardell as a 2009 athlete of the month. Morgan's first love of the water came at a very early age. We discovered at age 2 that she would not want to get out of the bathtub and would stay and pretend to swim for an hour. By the time she was 5 years old she was constantly asking about swimming and wanted to swim wherever and whenever she could. Her mother finally took her to the local swim club for a tryout. She tried out and a age 5 1/2 yrs old made the team. She continued to do well in the pool and began to develop a pretty good Butterfly and would soon set age group records at the Pleasant Valley swim club. Morgan continued to excel in swimming, moving up through the ranks and continued to compete at the J.O. level.

Morgan did not discover water polo until her freshman year of high school. Still wanting to compete in swimming, she found that she really enjoyed the team competition and with her swimming background, quickly picked up some of the skills needed to compete in this new found love. She made the varsity team her freshman year but saw limited playing time. Knowing that she loved to and wanted to compete, she began working fervently on her game and began playing 10 months out of the year while continuing to swim. The hard work paid off when she would start on Varsity for the next 3 years. She was nominated 2nd team all league that year, 1st team her junior year garnering 2nd team all CIF SS selection and setting 4 school records in swimming. In her final season of water polo she was a Team captain and helped lead her team further than they had ever gone before. Morgan was awarded the Team's Co- MVP, 1st Team Pacific View league, 1st Team All County and an All- CIF recipient in just 4 years of polo. In all, Morgan was also awarded the swim teams MVP all 4 years of high school. Morgan also had the opportunity to play at the Junior Olympic level the past two seasons helping the Ventura Coast team to a 10th place finish in the nation in 2008.

During her high school seasons, Morgan has maintained a 4.3 GPA while holding down a job at Yolanda's Mexican restaurant, interning at a Dental and at a Dermatologist office, being involved with her church youth group, being a leader and role model on campus, tutoring a fellow team player in chemistry and involved with her Student Body Government. Her strive for excellence has given her the opportunity to sign an early letter of intent with the Anteaters of UC Irvine where she will attend this Fall and will compete at the division 1 level while studying towards a degree in medicine with and emphasis in Pediatric Dentistry. She has handled the stresses of high school life very well by being well grounded in her faith, a huge contributor to our family, and by being a trusted friend to her classmates and teammates. Morgan has drawn from many of the areas coaches, swimmers, players and youth leaders to help her develop into the kind of person she is today. She is quick to note that she has not traveled this road alone but has gained great knowledge and understanding of sports and of life from these individuals who have given of their time so freely.

For these reasons I would like to nominate Morgan McCardell for the athlete of the month.

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