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Column: Hawks’ Beth Morris: Nothing but class

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By Steve Page | spage@md-times.com Sep 18, 2017

Beth Morris said she was just doing what was right.

The Decatur Central senior had shot an 18-hole round of 45-44—89 in Saturday’s IHSAA golf sectional tournament at West Chase Golf Club, narrowly missing the cut to advance to the Sept. 24 regional round.

But her score was incorrectly reported to tournament officials. The score turned in showed Morris with an 86. That would have put Morris in a playoff with Mooresville teammates Sarah Thomas and Haylee Fink, with the three playing for the final two transfer spots.

Tempting, but that wasn’t even an option to Morris.

“I knew that wasn’t my score,” she said, teary eyed. “I think there was a mixup with the scores.”

So Morris notified her own coach, Jeff Huffman. That quickly involved in a discussion among Huffman, Mooresville coach Jeff Franklin and Monrovia coach Kevin Rounds. Their three teams had been paired before the tournament start, so players and coaches from all three teams were involved.

That discussion carried on into the clubhouse, where Morris’ changed score was duly noted. Turning in a scorecard with an incorrect score resulted in disqualification.

That Morris – one of the smartest kids in her class – took it upon herself to do so impressed all around.

“That says everything about Beth,” Huffman said. “She’s an outstanding athlete, but she’s also an outstanding kid.”

“It ended as it should, because of the character of Beth Morris,” said Franklin. “It’s all about your integrity as an athlete.”

Rounds was no less impressed.

“That was obviously a scoring discrepancy,” he said.

“Calling herself for that was something. To be able to do that, end her season that way. … You can’t say enough about her. It makes you feel good as a person.

“You can’t say enough. That was an honorable thing to do.”

It was indeed.

Morris could have sat silently, then waited for the playoff.

But no.

She immediately stepped up to what she knew wasn’t right.

“When asked her thoughts at the moment, Morris replied, “You do what you’ve got to do.”

Simple as that.

Beth Morris did what she knew she had to do.

Regrets?

None.

Sadness?

You bet.

But most of that came from the fact she did not score well.

“Not my kind of day,” she said. “But it was fun.

“Now, I’m applying for colleges. IU seems the best option so far.”

That’s pretty cool.

Just moments after what could have been a devastating turnaround, Beth Morris was already looking to the future.

It will not be clouded with the memory of taking a score that wasn’t hers.

“She can go on from here with no regrets,” Jeff Huffman said. “She knew what to do. That’s just Beth. Outstanding. We’re all very proud of her.”

We all are!

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