Pioneer Press Defensive Football Player of the Year: Matt Morrissey

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Jason Vravick ran down the list of things that make Matt Morrissey a special football player.

Vravick, a Stevenson junior, talked about his teammate’s physical tools, the ones that allowed the three-year starting safety and Michigan State recruit to earn Class 8A all-state honors. Morrissey also helped the Patriots capture the NSC Lake championship and reach the state semifinals.

But Vravick, a starter at center and linebacker, said the 6-foot-3, 195-pound Morrissey is more than a fantastic football player.

“He is a great role model,” Vravick said of the senior. “Everybody looks up to him. He set a foundation here that we can build on. He brought our team together.”

Stevenson coach Bill McNamara said Morrissey was the rare player who had the respect of his teammates and opponents.

“That takes time to earn,” McNamara said. “He never cut corners. He came to practice with his lunch pail, and everybody followed him.”

McNamara said Morrissey, also a starter at receiver, has a “unique ability to find the football, whether on offense or defense.”

Although he wasn’t 100 percent for the semifinal game against Loyola, Morrissey’s presence on the field made the Patriots better.

“If nothing else, Loyola had to account for him,” McNamara said. “It was really a morale booster to have him out there.”

Pioneer Press’ Defensive Football First and Second Teams

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