Morrison brothers' unusual journey through Desert Ridge - East Valley Tribune: VarsityXtra

Morrison brothers' unusual journey through Desert Ridge

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Jason P. Skoda is the sports writer at the Ahwatukee Foothills News. Contact him at (480) 898-7915 or

Posted: Wednesday, November 20, 2013 9:19 pm

It happens all time; just not after the eligibility clock has already started running.

Student athletes and their parents, mostly the latter, decide for various reasons, especially gaining a competitive advantage, to be “held back” a year in school.

It gives them time to mature, academically and athletically, before hitting high school.

The Morrison twins at Desert Ridge have gone about it a different way.

They played their freshman year at Desert Ridge in 2010, but didn’t attend any school in 2011. Returned to Desert Ridge last season and are a big reason why the Jaguars are in their fourth straight Division I semifinal this year.

The team’s roster lists them as juniors.

The Arizona Interscholastic Association might have something to say about it next year if they suit up for Desert Ridge next season. Associate Executive Director Chuck Schmidt said he was unaware of the situation and he didn’t feel comfortable commenting.

So let the bylaws do the talking.

Article 15.9 in the AIA bylaws states: After a student first enrolls in the ninth grade, he/she has a maximum of eight semesters of opportunity and a maximum of four seasons of opportunity in each sport or activity. Semesters one through eight have to be consecutive.

According to the letter of the law, and not knowing the full story, would seem to indicate they are in their final year athletically.

“They sat out a full year,” Desert Ridge coach Jeremy Hathcock said. “There are no more redshirts and I am sure they will have to appeal.”

Tarek reportedly had ACL surgery last week and Taren has been the best running back in the state rushing for nearly 2,500 yards and 38 touchdowns.

I have never talked to the Morrison brothers as to the reason they say out and Hathcock wasn’t really willing to discuss the matter more.

There have been other cases, although few, as I remember as Queen Creek football player sat out a year and played essentially fifth year but if I remember correctly there was a medical issue involved.

I have no idea how this will play out, but it is clear if they can suit up next year the Jaguars will be instant contenders.

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[Stats Courtesy of MaxPreps]