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Local Sports Hero - Ian Morford

08 September 2016 Written by  By Michel Lassle

When it comes to multitasking, Ian Morford is the king of the balancing act.

The recent Northgate High School graduate played football, wrestling, track, and lacrosse, all while maintaining a 3.8 GPA and taking AP courses. The ambitious athlete even broke the school record for the most varsity sports played in one year. “My endurance is insanely high, and I have a high amount of discipline,” Ian said. “I never allowed myself to fall behind in my studies.” The impressive amount of commitment and success that Ian displayed even earned him the prestigious Eric Griffin Award, an award given to a male and female athlete every year in recognition of a multisport athlete who excels in excellent leadership, effort, sportsmanship, and conduct.

It all started with football. Ian first participated in the sport at the flag football level as a child, following in the footsteps of some of his idols. “I was raised around football and grew up watching the Raiders,” Ian said. “I just thought it would be cool to do what I saw them doing. My dad played in high school too, which I think was another aspect that inspired me.” Ian was trained to fill the linebacker and offensive lineman positions, which is where he continues to play today.

After competing on the football field for a while, Ian decided it was time to add more to his plate. Around the time of middle school Ian joined a lacrosse club team called the Warriors. “I wanted to play lacrosse because a bunch of my friends played it and told me they thought I’d be good at it since I liked the full contact of football,” Ian said. His friends proved to be right.

With a similar layout to soccer and hockey, lacrosse has three main positions: attackers, midfielders, and defenders. Ian was an LSM (long stick midfielder), which required him to only go on to the defensive part of the field. Around the same time as his entrance in to lacrosse, Ian also joined the Foothill wrestling team. “I honestly don’t even know why I started wrestling. For some reason I had a natural draw to it,” Ian said. “I guess it was a good choice because I ended up having a knack for it.”

Entering his freshman year at Northgate, Ian wasted no time joining all of his athletic teams. In his first year Ian made it onto the freshman football team, then progressing onto JV the next year where he stayed for the first half of the season. He then was pulled up to varsity and ended up starting the last two games. As a freshman Ian also made it onto the varsity lacrosse team and varsity wrestling team. Then as a junior Ian decided that he could handle more. That’s when track rounded out his athletic commitments. “I added track for a combination of reasons,” Ian said. Ian never got his driver’s license during high school, so he found himself hanging out at the track a lot while waiting for late night lacrosse practice to start. “A bunch of my friends did track, so I’d find myself hanging out with them while I waited. I decided instead of just sitting and waiting, I would actually do another activity.” While others might find an in-between activity exhausting, Ian said it didn’t affect him to go straight from track to lacrosse practice. For track he competed in shotput and discus.

In Ian’s final year of high school sports, the football team made it to playoffs, and the track team placed second in the league. His favorite and most successful season, however, was wrestling. The team had a tremendous amount of success, taking second place in NCS. “The team bonded really well, and I found a lot of success personally in my wrestling,” Ian said. During his senior season Ian started staying after practices to do extra work and put in additional time on the weekends with his coaches. “That dramatically improved my abilities. I worked really hard and ended up individually placing second in NCS and made it to state where I placed in the top 20 wrestlers in the state for my weight class.”

When Ian wasn’t competing or studying, he was an active member of the Assist Team, a national organiza­tion that travels around the country helping people in low income or difficult situations. “We would go to low income schools and throw Christmas and Easter parties,” Ian said. Then during the summers when Ian didn’t actively have sports taking place, he participated in 10K races, Spartan races, and even ran the San Francisco Marathon and a triathlon. “I push it to the insane sometimes, but I love being active.”

With the beginning of college quickly approaching, Ian has decided to attend Pacific University in Oregon where he plans on majoring in biology and joining the football and wrestling teams. “I really like that it’s a small school with an average class size of 25,” Ian said. Ian has been in contact with the wrestling and football coaches and has already been going over plays. “Sports are a pivotal part of my life, and I just want to keep playing because I enjoy the competitiveness. I’m just playing because I truly love to play.”

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