CB West's Tarin Morris Named United Soccer Coaches All-American

Central Bucks West senior Tarin Morris was named to the 2017 United Soccer Coaches Fall High School Boys’ All-America team, the first athlete in program history to earn that distinction.

Tarin Morris isn’t especially comfortable in the spotlight, and personal accolades take a backseat to team accomplishments every day of the week for the Central Bucks West senior. 

This fall, Morris and his West teammates made history when the Bucks advanced to the PIAA 4A state semifinals. A four-year starter and two-year captain, Morris made some history of his own when he capped a stellar senior season with his selection to the prestigious 2017 United States Soccer Coaches Fall High School Boys’ All-America team, the first player in the program’s 58-year history to earn that honor. Morris is one of just four Pennsylvania players to earn All-America distinction.

“When you talk about that level of accolade, typically you associate it with a guy who scores a lot of goals, but because he’s a midfielder, he’s a player who is in a position where it’s about more than just scoring goals,” West coach Stefan Szygiel said. “I do think the team advancing to the state semis helped Tarin’s cause as well.

“Tarin got a lot of attention. Now that the awards have come out, he’s kind of swept everything, which is awesome, but he didn’t do it as a 40-goal scorer. I think he did it with the team’s success being directly correlated to his individual success and vice versa, so his story is great.”

The list of the senior captain’s accolades is an impressive one. A three-time all-conference selection, Morris earned first team honors and was named SOL Continental Conference player of the year. He was named to the 2017 All-Southeastern PA squad while earning 2017 PSCA All-State and 2017 United Soccer Coaches All-Region (East) honors in addition to his All-American selection.

“Obviously, his senior year he racked up a few awards, which is great, but the best part about him is he genuinely doesn’t care about that,” Szygiel said. “I’ll tell him – ‘Tarin, you’re the first All-American in West boys’ history, you’re the sixth all-region and the 10th or 11th all-state player,’ and all he’ll say is ‘I hope the boys do better next year,’ and I think that’s what’s cool about him.

“He’s low key about it, and he’s very humble. He doesn’t really like being in the spotlight, but those things are what make him a player that has changed the program. He’s a guy we will reference forever now. There are other players just in my five years that we use as examples for young players coming though. It kind of gives us this cool story and example that we can use for years and years to come.”

Making Morris’ list of accomplishments even more impressive is the fact that he missed three of West’s final four regular season games because of a rare heart disorder.

“With four games to play, he was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome,” Szygiel said. “It became a part of this story.

“Fortunately, it was the type of thing that could be fixed with a procedure. He had the procedure and was able to return for the last game of the regular season against Pleasant Valley.”

Morris immediately made his presence felt, contributing a goal and an assist in the Bucks’ 3-0 win.

“That was basically his senior night because during the time of getting diagnosed he missed his own senior night,” Szygiel said. “To come back from that – it was definitely emotional for the team because it was when Tarin was starting to hit his stride.

“CB East beat us earlier in the season, and we came back and beat them (1-0) and Tarin scored the game winner. It was like, ‘All right, things are starting to point north now,’ and then this happened. He came out of it fine, and obviously we got him back fully for the playoffs.”

The West coach pointed to the team’s three-game series against archrival CB East as a microcosm of Morris’ season.

“In each game, he got better and better and better,” Szygiel said. “Part of the reason we do high school sports are moments like that where the best players show up in the biggest moments against your rivals.

“We went from a 1-0 loss (to East) at our place to a 1-0 win at their place. Tarin scored the game winner. In the second round of districts back at our place, we won 3-2. Tarin scored the first goal and just had a great game.”

Morris closed out his final high school season with 15 goals and seven assists, capping a journey that began with Morris stepping into the starting lineup as a freshman.

“I think he was ready for varsity soccer – physically, maybe not quite there yet, but he was a freshman,” Szygiel said. “We threw him out to the wolves.

“He’s always had a good supporting cast around him. When he was a freshman, the expectation was he was in a support role, and he did a great job for us. He battled and learned the physicality and the nuances of the high school soccer game.”

In both his freshman and sophomore year, Morris had the opportunity to play with older brother Brandon.

“The Morris brothers really do look out for each other, and I think he gave Tarin a little bit of a comfort level,” Szygiel said. “As a sophomore, he had to take on more.

“He’s playing center mid in a conference where you’re tested every single game. We went to the second round of districts, and he was on the field for basically every minute. He was very impactful.”

As a junior, Morris – one of two junior starters along with CJ Lang - was named a captain.

“He was in a position where he had to kind of bridge the gap between the seniors and sophomores,” Szygiel said. “Last year, by our standards, we felt was successful with the road map leading into this year where he was a second-year captain and really put his foot on the gas, grew as a leader, grew as a captain and grew as a player. This was the year where he really broke out in terms of creating goals and getting assists. Having worked with him four of my five years at West so far, I think he changed the face of the program.”

During his four-year stint on the varsity, the Bucks won 51 games with Morris contributing 24 goals and 10 assists in that span as central midfielder. West made four straight district playoff appearances and reached the District One 4A semifinals this fall. Morris led the Bucks to their third ever PIAA 4A Tournament berth, the first since 1982. He scored the game winner in West’s first ever state tournament win, a 1-0 victory over perennial state power La Salle. The Bucks went on to defeat Cumberland Valley 1-0 in the second round before falling to eventual state champion Conestoga in the state semis, closing out a season for the record books for Morris and his teammates.