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The Register’s Boys Athlete of the Year: Matt Morrell, Cypress

ORANGE COUNTY BOYS ATHLETE OF THE YEAR 2022-23

Name: Matt Morrell

School: Cypress

Year: Senior

Sport: Football, baseball

Notable highlights: Morrell played receiver on the Cypress football team that won the Empire League championship with a 5-0 league record while averaging 47 points a game in league, went 13-1 overall and played in the CIF Southern Section Division 4 final.

He was the Empire League football offensive player of the year and was named to the All-County football first team. Morrell (6-3, 195) finished with 80 receptions for a county-leading 1,627 yards with 14 TDs.

Cypress’ Matthew Morrell (19) delivers a pitch against Pacifica during...

Cypress’ Matthew Morrell (19) delivers a pitch against Pacifica during their Empire League game in Garden Grove, CA, on Tuesday, April 25, 2023. Pacifica defeated Cypress, 4 to 2. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

Cypress’ Matthew Morrell jumps over Millikan’s Ryan Pellum in Long...

Cypress’ Matthew Morrell jumps over Millikan’s Ryan Pellum in Long Beach on Friday, Nov. 11, 2022. CIF-SS Div. 4 quarterfinals. (Photo by Scott Varley, Contributing Photographer)

Matthew Morrell at Cypress High School on Wednesday August 3,...

Matthew Morrell at Cypress High School on Wednesday August 3, 2022 in Cypress, CA.
(Photo by Michael Goulding, Contributing Photographer)

Cypress’ Matthew Morrell celebrates a touchdown against Capistrano Valley during...

Cypress’ Matthew Morrell celebrates a touchdown against Capistrano Valley during the Centurions’ 41-38 victory at Western High School in Anaheim on Friday, September 23, 2022. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Contributing Photographer)

Cypress’ Matthew Morrell (19) delivers a pitch against Pacifica during...

Cypress’ Matthew Morrell (19) delivers a pitch against Pacifica during their Empire League game in Garden Grove, CA, on Tuesday, April 25, 2023. Pacifica defeated Cypress, 4 to 2. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

Cypress’ Matthew Morrell evades a tackle attempt by Millikan’s Jaden...

Cypress’ Matthew Morrell evades a tackle attempt by Millikan’s Jaden Hunt in Long Beach on Friday, Nov. 11, 2022. CIF-SS Div. 4 quarterfinals. (Photo by Scott Varley, Contributing Photographer)

Cypress wide receiver Matthew Morrell, left, runs for a big...

Cypress wide receiver Matthew Morrell, left, runs for a big gain in the Centurions’ win over San Juan Hills. Cypress is No. 11 in this week’s county top 25. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

Cypress’ Matthew Morrell, center, brings down San Juan Hills’ Isaiah...

Cypress’ Matthew Morrell, center, brings down San Juan Hills’ Isaiah Bennett, left, after Bennett caught a pass in non-league football game in Anaheim on Thursday, August 25, 2022. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

Morrell also played center field and pitched for the Cypress baseball team that was an Empire League co-champion with a 9-1 league record, finished 22-7 overall and won the championship of the prestigious National Classic tournament for the second consecutive year. He  was selected to the All-County baseball first team and was an Empire League baseball co-MVP. Morrell batted .352 with eight doubles, 20 RBIs and 17 stolen bases. As a pitcher he had two saves and 23 strikeouts in 24 innings.

He signed with Oregon State for baseball.

With so much success in the two sports, Morrell had much to choose from when asked for the highlights of his senior year.

For baseball …

“Winning the National Classic two times in row,” Morrell said. “That was special.”

For football …

“The whole playoff run was special,” he said. “A one-point game, a two-point game, games won on the last drive.”

Cypress in the Division 4 football playoffs, beat Highland of Palmdale 28-26, Long Beach Millikan 29-28 and Newport Harbor 17-14, respectively, to reach the finals.

In the win over Millikan the Centurions scored a touchdown as the fourth quarter expired and were successful on a 2-point conversion for the victory. And in the semifinals triumph over Newport Harbor, Cypress’ Logan Kennedy kicked a 36-yard field goal with nine seconds remaining.

Cypress football coach Rick Feldman said Morrell was the centerpiece in every game plan.

“We had to get the ball in his hands,” Feldman said. “Matt was our Mr. Clutch. If we needed a big play, he was going to make it.”

Centurions baseball coach John Weber praised Morrell’s athletic ability and character.

“He’s a tremendous athlete,” Weber said. “And from a father standpoint, he’s the guy you’d want your daughter to marry. He’s a great young man.”

Morrell had a great and memorable final year in his high school sports journey.

“The coaches made it special and so did my teammates,” Morrell said. “It was a great senior year in both sports and it was a lot of fun.”

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