GIBSONTON - Most students go home when the bell signifying the end of the school day rings at 3 p.m., but junior Morgan Penick has been putting in extra time at East Bay High School all year.
During the fall, Penick, 16, was an outside hitter for the girls volleyball team. She was also a shooting guard for the girls basketball team in the winter.
With the spring sports season getting started, she hopes to reclaim her starting quarterback spot on the varsity flag football team.
Eighty-three girls signed up to try out for the junior varsity and varsity squads starting Feb. 18. The first game of the season will be March 13 against Bloomingdale High School.
It will be Penick's second year as part of the budding flag football program, which is entering its third season.
"Last year, I remember hearing some girls talking about flag football, and I thought it would be fun to tryout," Penick said. "It was also a good way to keep me busy this time of year."
During her first year playing flag football, she qualified for the All-District 9 second team. She also helped the team improve from an inaugural 2-7 record to 5-6 last season.
"I think the girls on the team definitely see her as a leader, which is very important because she's the quarterback of this team," said Michael Cooper, head coach.
Though she's in football mode, Penick said her favorite sport is basketball and she admires the University of Tennessee's women's team.
The Summerfield resident is undecided about which college she plans to attend but would eventually like to become a history teacher.
"I like the school setting and being around children," Penick said.
Also, if someone were to offer her an athletic scholarship to take any one of her games to the next level, she wouldn't turn it down.
"I would absolutely love to play ball in college," she said. "If I got an athletic scholarship it would be a miracle because they're so hard to get."
GET TO KNOW
WHO: Morgan Penick
SCHOOL: East Bay High School
SPORTS: Basketball, flag football, volleyball
PLANS: Undecided on school, but wants to become a history teacher