We caught up with Head Coach Bull Morton at last weekend’s tournament. He agreed to give us a few minutes while the team warmed up.
LR: Coach, tell us a little about your history with the sport.
BM: Boy, things were sure different when I was this age. No plastic and aluminum, just blistering hickory. I remember the first synthetic sticks – freakin’ pipes they were. None of us had any teeth – it was great.
I was a coach for my own kids’ teams while they were growing up. It’s a great opportunity to work with young people, teach them discipline, hard work, and otherwise mold the men who will run the world one day.
LR: Are you still close to your sons?
BM: Ronny’s back east - promoted to manager for the White Castle last year. Stephen – or Stephanie, as he prefers to be called now – travels quite a bit. Drops his mom a card now and then.
LR: So what’s it like building a team in an area where the sport is still so new?
BM: It’s the toughest job in the world to introduce such a complex sport and I’m glad to be able to help these kids – they’re completely clueless but work hard. (To the team) Arms up, Duke! The key is to lay down a good foundation of expectations and communication. Kids will perform to the level you set for them – they want to make you happy. So I set that bar high and let them know exactly what they need to improve to achieve their goals.
Being a coach is more than a hobby – it’s a calling. It takes more than a big heart and a Fox 40, it takes vision and leadership to move forward on all cylinders. I wasn’t born with the ability to make these players great, but there’s a responsibility for those of us with the knowledge to mentor these kids and younger coaches so the sport lives on. 360 degree communication, 24/7 - (To the team) Let’s try passes that don’t bounce, guys!
LR: And how are the parents taking to the sport?
BM: They bring their kids on time and pick them up. Anything else is handled through the booster club.
LR: This is the team’s first preseason tournament. How’s it going?
BM: You kidding? We’re getting our butts kicked out there. But that’s how you learn, right? Trial by fire. (To team) Pinkie! Don’t eat that, son!
LR: So you have a list of things to work on when you get back?
BM: Mostly little things, like banning Twitch’s Red Bull and banana pregame smoothies, but overall we’re on the right track – just need some more time. And better conditioning.