This week’s MNPS MVP Shayonna Morton – Maplewood High School
Although Shayonna Morton has been in school less than two months this school year, she says she has adjusted to her high school student experience well. The Maplewood High School freshman has settled into her new school, new friends and new volleyball team just right.
“I brought everything I have learned in the classroom and by playing volleyball last year to Maplewood High School,” Morton said. “If I stay focused, I know everything will turn out well.”
Morton’s interest in volleyball began in sixth grade during a Physical Education class at Gra-Mar Middle School. Her teacher taught techniques, positions and allowed students to play a few games during class. Morton was excited to be a part of it. She soon gained her confidence in the game and tried out for the middle school volleyball team playing on the team for two years.
During her time on the team, Morton was named captain and received Best All-Around and Most Valuable Player awards. Once she arrived in high school she tried out for the Panthers volleyball team and advanced right to the varsity squad.
“Although I never met her, my family told me that my aunt played volleyball in high school” Morton said. “I heard she was a good player. She and I both played through Long QT syndrome and worked hard not to let it become an excuse.”
Morton was diagnosed with Long QT Syndrome (LQTS), the same as her aunt, as a baby. LQTS is a congenital heart condition that causes fast heartbeats. This medical condition results from an abnormality in electrical system of the heart and the “QT” interval refers to the record of the electrical activity of a person’s heart.
Morton remains conscious of how she feeling during practice and games. She has been cleared by a physician to play and is always ready to spike a few volleyballs.
Maplewood’s volleyball season is now in high gear, and Morton is looking forward to enhancing her skills on the court as a spiker – a new position the player.
“Shayonna is a great asset to the Panther volleyball team,” said Tracia Alexander, Maplewood High School volleyball coach. “She is a dedicated player and doesn’t hold anything back on the court. I look forward to coaching and watching Shayonna excel is this sport.”