Speak softly, and carry a big stick. This is the one thing you learn in sixth grade at Providence Classical Christian School. It is an old saying popularized by our 26th President Teddy Roosevelt. It is also a saying that aptly describes 2011 Providence graduate, Luke Morris.
Luke does not like speaking in public. In fact, it was almost impossible for him to speak in front of others when he was young. It was insurmountable for him to quote a poem in front of his extended family at the age of 8, or to give a speech to his fourth class, or even just to give a speech to his teacher. Grammar school was difficult and frustrating for him. His GPA was well below average for his class.
But Luke was persistent… and patient. He also had a great eye for observing things. He almost always knew what everyone in his class was doing. He almost always knew where something was at home if someone had “lost” it. He was a protector.
In fourth grade, Luke learned a new game, called lacrosse. He had never heard of it before, but it involved using a stick. He liked it! Pretty soon, he learned to use the defender’s stick – a long pole (6 feet long, instead of the typical 3 feet long). He practiced a lot by playing fetch with his pet dog, Lydia, a German Lab. She was tenacious, and Luke learned to fight for the ball and to pick it up quickly before she got it. In high school, Luke continued through hard work to improve in the classroom as well as on the sports field. Every year, his GPA got better. Eventually he was near the top of his class. He also passed his senior Rhetoric class with flying colors, giving a 15-minute speech on the effects of Title 9 on men’s sports and answering questions for another 20 minutes. No one had ever heard Luke talk so much in one sitting!
Luke wanted to pursue his love of lacrosse and the bond of brotherhood, so he went to University of Mount Olive (UMO) in North Carolina with his older brother Ryan. UMO competes as an NCAA Division 2 school. UMO was just starting a lacrosse program for the first time. Luke and Ryan got to play lacrosse together and had many of the same classes together.
It is tough being so far away from home during college, especially when the environment is not conducive to spiritual growth. At UMO, Luke and Ryan had to rely on the knowledge and, more importantly, the values that they had learned at Providence Classical Christian School. They fought against the culture of their classmates – the culture of partying, laziness, and immorality. And they rose to be leaders because of it. Luke graduated with a BS in Biology and a minor in Chemistry with a 3.53 GPA.
Today, Luke still speaks softly. He is quiet, but there is a lot going on inside his mind. He is still the protector. He still carries a big stick, and he uses it skillfully. He uses it so well, in fact, that in his senior year, he was honored as a Division 2 All-American in lacrosse, the MVP of his lacrosse team, and the best Male Student-Athlete at UMO.
Providence Classical Christian School was essential in helping Luke academically and athletically. It gave him the foundation required to excel at college and beyond. Luke had steady growth at Providence, but it was the last two years of high school where he truly realized his potential and blossomed into the person that he is today.
Other college athletes from Providence:
- Ryan Morris, a 2010 graduate of Providence, played four years of lacrosse at UMO. He graduated with the highest GPA on the lacrosse team (3.75, majoring in Biology and a minor in Chemistry), was second team All-Conference, the All-Tournament team, and the Unsung Hero of the UMO lacrosse team.
- Bryce Hummel, a 2012 graduate of Providence, has played three years of lacrosse at BIOLA in California. This year, as a junior, he was an MCLA All-American, honorable mention.
- Matthew Morris, a 2015 graduate of Providence, played one year of lacrosse with his brothers at UMO. Next year, he will be attending University of Idaho.
- Cole Butaud is doing well playing soccer for Cedarville University. Last year, he suffered a concussion, so he only played for half of the year.
- Eric and Andrew Moisant played soccer for Bob Jones University in 2013 and 2014.
- Katie Adair and Hailey Ferguson will be the first girls to play sports in college from Providence. Katie attends Cedarville University and Hailey will attend Colorado Christian.
Luke Morris stats:
- All-Conference Academic Team (2015, 2016) – only given to juniors and seniors
- All-Conference Second Team (2014)
- All-Conference First Team (2015, 2016)
- All-Tournament Team (2014, 2016, 2016)
- UMO Lacrosse Team Captain’s Award (2014)
- UMO Lacrosse Team Captain (2015, 2016)
- UMO Lacrosse Team Defensive Player of the Year (2015)
- UMO Lacrosse Team Most Valuable Player of the Year (2016)
- UMO Male Student Athlete of the Year (2016)
- NCAA All American, honorable mention (2016)
- USILA Scholar All-American (2016)