Eupora's Morton signs to play at Meridian CC
Eupora senior baseball player Charles Anfernee Morton, seated right, signed a letter of intent with Meridian Community College Monday, while mother Teresa Morton, seated left, dad Charles Morton, standing left, and Eupora baseball coach Lee Berryhill look on. (Photo by Charlotte Newman, Webster Progress Times, For The Daily News)
EUPORA â€“ The ability to go the extra mile with his effort on the baseball field has helped Eupora senior Charles Morton reach the next level.
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Morton signed a letter of intent Monday with Meridian Community College and wants to take the same mentality that helped him succeed with the Eagles in Webster County to community college.
"I want to finish here strong, then go to Meridian, help them have a good program and do what I can to help them win," Morton said.
Morton, a four-year starter and letterman for coach Lee Berryhill at Eupora, has been one of the reasons why the Eagles are 11-2 overall and 5-0 in Class 2A, Region 4.
"Everybody is contributing and that's why we are 11-2, but Charles is sitting there in the middle of the lineup batting .525 with five home runs," Berryhill said. "He's a big cog in the wheel. It's a team effort with a couple of big punches in the middle of the lineup."
The reason why Morton has impressive offensive numbers is because he refuses to be an easy out.
In batting practice, teammates have given him the nickname of "one more man."
It's the encouragement of his fellow Eagles that Morton believes has helped him most.
"I credit most of it to my teammates because because when I'm hitting, I won't end (an at-bat) off a bad hit," Morton said. "They'll have to keep throwing me pitches, then they'll get mad and say their arm is hurting."
Morton sees his high school career as "up and down," but but thanks Berryhill for pushing him hard, making him better and encouraging him to rely on teammates more.
Berryhill said Morton is a leader by example on the field and not necessarily with words.
"He is (a leader) by the way he plays, not necessarily verbally," Berryhill said. "That's kind of the way we are as a team. We have a quiet team, but look out for us."
Berryhill calls Morton a versatile player, who has the ability of playing first base, outfield and even pitches. He said Meridian is getting "a good player and a good person, too. That's a bonus."
It only took one visit to Meridian and Morton was hooked.
"When I got out of the car, I liked the field and how everything looked," Morton said. "I talked with the coaches and they seemed like coach Berryhill, one of the coaches I love, so I was ready to play at Meridian after that."