Sophomore Hopes to Lead Team Back to
NEW HAVEN, Conn -- Sophomore Joe Morris was elected captain of the co-ed sailing team after voting at the Ray Tompkins House. Morris has been a leader on the team since he came to Yale, establishing himself as the B-division skipper to outgoing senior captain Thomas Barrows.
"I'm honored to be elected captain," Morris said. "And I'm excited to be able to lead the team next season."
Morris' on-the-water performance has had an immediate impact for the Bulldogs. As a freshman, he quickly became one of three skippers on the team racing squad and by season's end was racing in the ICSA co-ed national championship. Morris finished fourth in division at nationals and was named a co-ed All-American.
Morris credits his predecessors with preparing him for the role of captain.
"I had a long line of great leaders, with Thomas and Zach [Brown, ‘08], to look up to. Thomas has been a perfect example of leadership and support for the team."
Though he is only a sophomore, Morris is no stranger to leading his team. As a high school sailor at the Severn School in Annapolis, Md., Morris was elected captain as a sophomore, junior and senior. As a sophomore, he helped Severn qualify for the high school national championship. The regatta came down to a protest ruling, leaving Severn tied for second place, one point out from first place. In a twist of fate, the A-division skipper of the winning team was now-teammate Barrows while senior Marla Menninger was a crew for second-place Newport Harbor high school.
Reflecting on the loss, Morris said, "We were a young team -- I learned how to keep the team together that year."
In his senior year, Morris returned to the Mallory Trophy and was able to lead Severn to the national championship.
"A lot of that had to do with team bonding skills," he said.
Morris hopes that he can repeat that sort of success this spring for the Bulldogs. His goal for this season is "to get everyone better, because it's all about training for nationals. Our first goal is qualifying for all three nationals. After that, our goal is putting ourselves into a position to do well there."
Morris and the Bulldogs' first opportunity to put their goals into action will occur in two weeks' time, at the Mendelblatt Team Race at the University of South Florida. Racing begins on February 13 at 9:30 a.m.
Report by Andrew Kurzrok '11, Yale Sports Publicity