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Kira Morris, Eureka 3-sport star, is SBLive's 2021-22 North Coast Section Athlete of the Year

After COVID-19 badly disrupted her freshman and sophomore years, Morris had a three-sport junior year for the books

(Photos by Ray Hamill – Humboldt Sports)

Welcome to a continuing tradition at SBLive California – honoring the male and female athletes of the year in every CIF Section.

Because the SBLive crew gets so immersed in specific sports seasons, it is nice to take a step back to pick a Section honor on a broader scale.

The criteria isn’t too expansive: The starting point is finding athletes who are all-league/all-state performers. Totality of career is also a factor as is winning. Administrator/coach/fan recommendation plays a role as well.

Enjoy as we honor some of California's top athletes!

north coast secition aoty kira morris

When it comes to youth sports, they say we're in the era of specialization.

More talented athletes are cropping down the number of sports they play at younger ages to focus on the one that seems most promising at the college level. Indeed, there were fewer high-profile three-sport stars in the CIFNCS in 2021-22 than in other recent years. 

But as a junior, Eureka 2023 Kira Morris was a shining counterexample to all of that. Her phenomenal year across three seasons begs the question – did she simply find a way to specialize in three sports?

In the spring, she was one of the top two-way softball players in NorCal. Morris led the Loggers to a 27-3 record, the NCS Division 3 finals, and the second round of CIF Regional playoffs. Her numbers on both sides were fantastic. She went 24-2 with a 1.31 ERA and 263 strikeouts in 171.1 innings in the circle, and batted .505 with 7 home runs, a section-leading 54 RBIs, and a 1.458 OPS. Naturally, she was also named to SBLive's All-CIFNCS Team

And by the time softball even began, Morris had already helped lift the soccer team to a Division 1 championship and national ranking, finishing tied for second with 9 goals. In between the fall and spring seasons, she also earned all-league in basketball for helping the Loggers win 20 games, a league title, and the 7th seed in NCS D3.

Not bad for two junior campaigns that take a slight backseat to softball for Morris.

"Softball is my favorite sport... I really want to play softball in college," Morris confirmed to SBLive after her junior year.

"I have two older brothers who play college baseball and the experience sounds amazing. Talking to several schools right now and I have a couple of visits planned for this Fall. I feel badly about missing some soccer practices, but on the next few weekends I’m traveling to visit colleges and pitch; super excited for next year!"

The soccer title came in dramatic fashion. Not only did the championship game come down to the wire, but it was against league foe Arcata, which had handed the 14-2-2 Loggers both of their losses and one of their draws in three meetings.

"The games against Arcata were intense," said Morris. 

"Clean, but super physical with lots of crowd involvement. The NCS Championship game went through regulation, through overtimes, and into penalty kicks."


"I’d like to take more credit for a role in the NCS Championship, but the truth is that we had a phenomenal defense and midfield that just kept feeding sweet balls up to our frontline," Morris said.

If it seems like Morris' massive junior year came out of nowhere, you can thank COVID-19. 

Everybody in California got the short end of the stick during the 2020-21 athletic year, but it was salvaged more for many that it was for Morris. In total, she finished her sophomore year having played just nine basketball games, three softball games, and zero soccer games. So it's no stretch to say she'd hardly played any actual high school softball heading into her junior year.

Clearly, the pandemic didn't deter Morris from breaking out as soon as she was given the opportunity. She attributes that substantially to the work she put in away from official team activities during the pandemic.

"Freshman year was a definite bummer," said Morris. 

"We got in one game before COVID ended everything. The positive on the whole situation was that so many of our players were ninth graders at the same time: we worked out when and where we could and came into last softball (and soccer and basketball) season super excited to get in a real season. I think getting shut down made us super appreciative of the opportunity and we tried to max it out."

"After practices I usually do a light softball workout and try to get in the gym," said Morris. "I love to do squats and dead lifts. Then: food, homework, and crash."

"Also, we had an amazing senior catcher (Makenna Beach) last year who provided positive leadership and motivation. Our season was incredible!"


Morris says that all three rosters she's on at Eureka are comprised of many of the same kids. So don't expect her, or her teammates, to confine their success to one or two sports.

"I love playing three sports, but I do have some rough mornings... coffee comes first thing," said Morris.

"Eureka High girls’ sports rock! Same core group of girls through a lot of all three seasons, no drama, no egos, and everybody willing to work. We’re just getting going in soccer right now and can’t wait for basketball. It’s going to be tough to match last year’s softball season."



Central Section Male: Nate Johnson, Clovis

Central Section Female: Jazmine Soto, Strathmore

Central Coast Section Male: Mikey Mitchell Jr., Archbishop Mitty

Central Coast Section Female: Jessica Oakland, St. Francis

LA City Section Male: Dylan Kordic, San Pedro

LA City Section Female: Jillian Kelly, El Camino Real

North Coast Section Male: Nico Torrez, De La Salle

North Coast Section Female: Natalie Pasco, San Ramon Valley

Sac-Joaquin Section Male: Jadyn Marshall, Stockton St. Mary's

Sac-Joaquin Section Female: Jzaniya Harriel, Antelope

San Diego Section Male: Nick Herrmann, Torrey Pines

San Diego Section Female: Elise Miller, San Pasqual

Southern Section Male: Thomas Southey, Mira Costa

Southern Section Female: Alyssa Thompson, Harvard-Westlake