With a year under his belt as the quarterback of the Philadelphia High School Tornadoes, senior Asher Morgan is looking forward to kicking off the 2019 season.

And the opening game against Centerpointe, Ala., is little more than a month away (Aug. 23). The Tornadoes will play Louisville for a half August 16 in a jamboree game at Louisville.

“I am really excited about this season,” Morgan said. “I think we have matured as a team and we are ready to prove ourselves.

“We are playing some very good teams this season. And good competition is going to make us better. Philadelphia usually makes it to the second or third round of the playoffs each year. If we show up and play like we are capable of, I don’t see us losing a game. I see us going deeper into the playoffs. This team has the ability to make it to the state championship at Southern Mississippi in December.

Morgan has played football since he was young. He played in the youth leagues growing and through school. He transferred to Philadelphia High School from Jackson Academy last summer. The Tornadoes went 9-5 and made it to the third round of the playoffs. That was certainly not a bad season, especially when you factor in a change with the head coach after the second game.

For his part, Morgan completed 142 of 259 passing attempts for 2,462 yards and 15 touchdowns. He was intercepted eight times. His longest pass covered 80 yards. Morgan also rushed 23 times for 78 yards and one touchdown.

The Tornadoes have had a good off season under Coach David Frey, who has installed his new offense. Participation has been good in the weight room and conditioning drills. Philadelphia has played some 7-on-7.  Morgan likes the offense and the options it gives him.

“During my first season, we had to get our team chemistry down and I had to earn the respect of the team,” Morgan said. “Things are more stable now. Our offensive line and running game should be strong and we have some outstanding receivers. I am going to do everything to try and make those guys look good. And when they look good, I will look good.”

Looking back at last season, Morgan said he felt his biggest game was against Neshoba Central.

“I know those guys and I enjoyed playing against them,” Morgan said. “That game was like no other I have played in. We played hard against each other but after the game, we were all still friends.”

He feels disappointed about losing the Scott Central game  30-18. That loss cost the Tornadoes the region championship and Scott Central went on to win the state championship.

“We can’t dwell on it,” Morgan. “We got off to a good start in that game, but they came back on us. Our district is going to be tough again but I think we are going to be ready for it.”

He has attended summer football camps at LSU, Tulane, Memphis, Sanford and Southern Mississippi. He has committed to play college football at Sanford and is happy about his choice. He attended church camp last week at Lake Sardis.

“I really liked the coaches and players there,” Morgan said. “That is where I want to go to college and I will probably stick with this decision.”

He plans to major in either physical therapy or business finance.

Morgan listed his favorites:

- Favorite meal: Steak and potato. He really likes the hot fresh bread and butter that come with it;

- Favorite movie: Remember the Titans;

- Favorite video game: Doesn’t play video games much but used to like NCAA Football;
- Class: math.

Morgan was a member of the basketball team last year and likes to play basketball. However, he does plan to play varsity basketball this season as he focuses on his grades and getting ready for college.

In his spare time, Morgan likes to play with his young nieces and nephews.