Morgan Cheeseman may not have been around her teammates, but that doesn’t mean she stopped helping her teammates.
Cheeseman is a junior at Nazareth Academy High School, and she is a member of the soccer, basketball and softball teams at the school.
On top of being a midfielder, guard and infielder/outfielder on her teams, one of her best attributes is her leadership skills.
She was a captain on the junior varsity basketball and softball teams last year, so prior to everything being shut down due to coronavirus, Cheeseman had a chance to hone her leadership skills, especially in the spring sport.
“We had a few practices before everyone stopped playing and the captains ran them, so it was pretty good,” said Cheeseman, who lives in Mayfair. “It was hard when everything stopped. I love being at Nazareth, so when everything stopped, we missed it. The season ended before we started playing games.”
Cheeseman may not have been a leader at the school after the shutdown began, but she still was able to pave the way for younger Pandas to learn how to do things the right way.
Cheeseman’s two sisters, Bridget and Devon, are headed to Nazareth in September. And like their elder sister, the twins are three-sport stars in soccer, basketball and softball.
The younger girls have always looked to their older sister for guidance, but this year will mark the first time the family is competing for the same school. And they’re looking forward to it immensely.
“My sisters have said that I’m a good role model for them, and I’m doing everything I can to show them how to do things the Nazareth way,” Cheeseman said. “They’re good. I think they’re going to be very good athletes and very good students. I think both of them will be great additions to the school. They’re both very good in sports and school.
“We were always close, but we didn’t go to the same school. I think since we’ve been stuck at home and learning from home, we’ve gotten a lot closer. And it’s good because this will be the first time we’re getting to play for the same school. We’re really close now.
“We’ve been down the shore (in Sea Isle) a lot this summer, so we’ve been working out, and we have some space. But we’re really close.”
If the younger girls listen, they should learn a lot from their older, wiser sibling.
Cheeseman is a very talented player, but according to soccer coach Dan Bradley, it’s her work ethic that makes her stand out.
For Cheeseman, that’s a good compliment because it’s what she wants to be known for in everything she does, both in and out of athletics.
“I hope to play varsity soccer and basketball this year, but softball, I’m more of just a team player,” said Cheeseman, who saw time on the varsity soccer team as a sophomore. ”If I’m not playing in any sport, I just try to help out by being a team player. And I’ll always try to work as hard as I can. I try to do that in everything, sports and school.”
That makes her a huge asset to her school.
And that makes her happy because she loves nothing more than being at Nazareth.
On top of being very busy with athletics, Cheeseman was on student council, and this year she’ll be the vice president of her homeroom. She’s also a school ambassador, taking potential students and parents on tours of the school.
She’s also on mathletes, the cancer awareness club, Athletes Helping Athletes and the photography club.
“I’m usually at Nazareth from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and sometimes even longer if something is going on at night, like soccer,” said Cheeseman, who also gets straight A’s in the classroom. “I love being at the school. If I could sleep there, I would. And it will be even better with my sisters being there.
“I love the school. I’ve loved it since the first day I stepped foot in the school. I love everything about it. The teachers, the coaches, my friends. It’s such a good school.”
She’s hoping she can represent the school well once sports start. If they start.
Things are up in the air because of coronavirus, so everyone is scrambling to decide when athletics will begin.
No matter what season things go back to normal in, Cheeseman and her sisters will be ready to go.
They’ve been working out all summer, and when they get the go-ahead, they’ll be there.
“Last year, we had a great season in soccer, so we hope we can play,” Cheeseman said. “It’s hard for everyone. We were good at everything last year, we have good teams in everything. Soccer was great, we did well during the regular season and made the second round of districts, so I hope we can play. We’re all working out and staying ready.
“My sisters will be ready. I’ve been trying to teach them how to do everything we do at Nazareth. But they’ll be very good. I’m just trying to help them. I’m glad we’re going to do this together.”