In the world of lacrosse, Dale Morley has experienced it all, from playing, to getting injured, and now professionally coaching his first season at Kell High School.
When Morley entered high school, his father told him he needed to get involved in some kind of sport. “I told him he needed to do something in the spring and he brought home a lacrosse stick,” says Dick Morley, Dale’s father.
Dale’s friend Gabriel told him about lacrosse and it really peeked his interest. “I played attack and midfield initially but then we needed a goalie my junior year, so I played two years of goalie junior and senior.”
While at Gainesville High School, Morley won Most Improved Player his freshman year, Best defensive player his junior year, and Most Valuable Player his senior year. He was the first lacrosse player from Gainesville High School to play college lacrosse.
Morley was a part of Piedmont’s first male lacrosse team. While at Piedmont, Morley played goalie and was the team’s main goalie until he got injured his sophomore year. During a game against Oglethorpe, Morley was hit in the knee by an illegal shot. He tore his ACL and had a hairline fracture. He ended up sitting out the rest of the season. The next two years he continued playing goalie, although his hand got hit during practice his senior year. Luckily, Morley had enrolled for the graduate program at Piedmont College and red-shirted while working on his master’s degree. During his four years at Piedmont College, Morley had a total of 343 goals saved.
During the summers, Morley began coaching lacrosse at the YMCA, while working at La Parilla Mexican restaurant at night. “While he was at the Y, he had a 6-year old that just followed him around with a lacrosse stick. He was a natural leader to the kids.” says Janet Morley, Dale’s mother. He went on to work with Slyd lacrosse at Riverside Military Academy during his summers as well, coaching kids and giving them the confidence they needed.
When Morley got his master’s from the School of Education at Piedmont College, he was offered a job teaching history and coaching lacrosse at Kell High School in Marietta. The spring 2018 season has been his first and the team has done really well, only losing one game so far. “I love the practices and interacting with the players.” says Morley. “They’re so funny and just a good bunch of guys.” Morley says the hardest part about coaching is the area that they’re in. “This area has really built up and many kids are playing lacrosse, while my guys aren’t as experienced. I’m trying to figure out how to challenge them in way that is beneficial, but not deter them.”
Morley’s parents, Dick and Janet, believe lacrosse has only benefited Dale. “I think lacrosse gave him confidence and self motivation,” says Janet. “As a coach, he is able to pass on this self motivation to his players. He is a very kind hearted man and is always celebrating his players’ victories… he is a team player but he also leads so well.”
Of course, Dale Morley hopes for a championship for his players, but above all else, he hopes that they think about their futures and that they learn all the traits he has gotten from lacrosse.