Senior outfielder Morgan Johnson will be the first to tell you, there’s nothing easy about being a student-athlete.
The Macon, Ga. native knows how to excel where numerous student-athletes struggle by balancing a demanding season schedule while maintaining a decent grade point average.
Johnson led the national champion Lady Blazers last season in on base percentage, starting every game. Despite the long exhausting journey, she ended last semester with a 3.66 GPA.
If winning a national championship wasn’t enough, a month later Johnson was awarded the Gulf South Conference’s highest honor the Commissioners trophy which deemed her as the top student-athlete in the conference.
Again this week she has received yet another award for her academic achievements and involvement in honor societies and community service.
The South Region NCAA Division II Conference Commissioners Association Scholar-Athlete of the Year is the newest piece of hardware Johnson can add to her trophy case.
Johnson and 15 other regional winners are eligible now to win the national award. A winner will be selected on October 22nd.
She is far from being the only good student on the team.
VSU led the GSC this past season with five players earning spots on the conference All-Academic team including Johnson.
“We work hard at bringing in good student athletes,” Head Coach Thomas Macera said. “Most of the time, if a kid works hard in the classroom they’ll work hard on the field. We want kids that can develop in the classroom and can also develop on the field so we can get them graduated. That is the key at the end of the year is to graduate our kids.”
Johnson was notable for her clutch games last season especially the three-run homer outing she had against Southern Connecticut State beating them 6-3 in the national tournament which secured the Lady Blazers as one of the final four teams left in the nation.
The once tri-athlete in high school at First Presbyterian Day never had aspirations of becoming a Lady Blazer until Coach Macera spoke to her after one of her games where he was there scouting his future standout.
“The fact that he wanted me persuaded me to come,” Johnson said. “He finds a player that he thinks can help and I guess he thought I could in some way.”
The All-American has done more than just help since she has arrived at VSU.
Contributing since her freshman season she became the first Lady Blazer to win the Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division II National Player of the Week award and the GSC East Freshman of the Year award.
In her sophomore year, Johnson led the team in stolen bases en-route to winning their second consecutive GSC championship.
Having a hectic routine balancing being an athlete with academics isn’t new for the senior whose time management skills are needed now more than ever.
“It’s never been anything like this,” Johnson said. “Nursing school is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It’s way harder than softball. My brain gets tired faster than my body does.”
The aspiring nurse practitioner is looking to have a productive senior year on and off the field.
“Morgan is Morgan,” Macera said. “She is the same every day of the week. She shows up, does her job, and leaves.”