Most Viewed Stories
Shamrock captain Frank looks to power YC to state for third time
Julian Higuera is a familiar voice heard loud and clear at Shamrock home soccer games. He also doesn't let his creativity get in the way when announcing the starting lineups for Yuma Catholic.
“Number 11... Morgan... ‘The Machine'... Frank!” he yells over the intercom.
The nickname is a relatively new one for the Shamrock's senior center midfielder, but the inspiration behind it isn't foreign to Frank or her teammates.
“I've always been called the Energizer Bunny because I never stopped,” Frank said while laughing. “I guess that's what they're getting at with ‘The Machine' I don't know. They just started saying it and it just kind of stuck.”
Frank's father served in the military for 25 years, which meant Frank was never in one spot for too long. In fact her soccer career started as a toddler playing bumblebee soccer in Japan.
With moving from place to place every few years, two of the only things that remained constant in her life were family and soccer.
“Everywhere I've gone there's been a team for me,” Frank said. “I make an immediate group of friends, it's irreplaceable. I'm still friends with a lot of those girls and I still keep in touch with them so it's awesome.”
Frank's family moved to Yuma with the intention of only staying for a couple years.
“I was here with the mindset that I'd be leaving after freshman year,” Frank said. “And then once we kind of got settled in we were like we don't really want to move, we like it here. So my dad got restationed here and it all worked out.”
It not only worked out for Frank, but for Yuma Catholic head coach Jesus Quintana. Frank along with Jocelyn Higuera, Kalaina Barnett and Krysta Aitken all came in together as freshman and are looking to make the state tournament for the third time in their four years at YC.
“From the total contribution of those four it's probably one of the more talented classes we've had,” Quintana said. “They've provided the core to stabilize our team and next year is certainly going to be a big void we have to fill. It will be a challenge because of the talent they have individually and collectively — they are the core of the team.”
Frank is doing her best to pass along the torch, being a mentor and a role model for freshmen like Karla Navarro who leads Yuma Catholic in scoring with 18 goals.
“I think here in this set up (Karla) has flourished,” Quintana said. “Especially seeing somebody like Morgan and wanting to be like Morgan and now developing a good relationship. I think Morgan is somebody Karla has looked up to and relies a lot on for development and learning the game and leading her team during the games. It's been very good experience for both of them.”
Frank would like to continue playing soccer at the collegiate level and has been accepted academically into all of the in-state universities, including the honors college at the University of Arizona.
“I'm going to start bugging their coaches to see if they'll give me a shot,” Frank said.
The way she's been taking shots this year, her coach thinks it's hard to see her not getting one somewhere.
“She definitely has the ability to do so,” Quintana said. “Hopefully she finds a place where she can fit in and contribute.”