ACL injury causes senior to reflect on future


Raelynne Blackwell

Senior Morgan Blackwell hopes to leave for his mission through his church in June 2017 and then join the marines.

Senior Morgan Blackwell can usually be found in his workshop at home working on his 1964 Chevrolet Bel Air.  His Bel Air is mostly restored though and just needs some paint, so now he is looking into buying a 1974 Camaro. Although Blackwell spends most of his time on his vehicle, he has other hobbies and interests that include pole vault, sprints, and spinner fishing.

Blackwell started his senior year began with a struggle: he tore his ACL and meniscus while playing ultimate frisbee in individual and team sports on Sept. 22. He tore it by jumping to catch a frisbee and falling down wrong on it. “It bent the wrong way and made a crunchy noise,” he said. His torn ACL will cause him to miss indoor and outdoor track season. In track Blackwell participates in pole vault and sprints. He vaults at 12 feet, 6 inches. “My plan this year was to train as hard as I could for track and get a scholarship out of it; and now I have to go back and rethink what I’m doing completely,” said Blackwell. Blackwell will most likely not be able to continue his track season this year but added that he possibly will be able to in college.

One of Blackwell’s hobbies is Machine Shop, and one of the most influential adults in his life is the teacher Dan Miller.  “He’s just always been happy,” said Blackwell. “I can be having a bad day and I can go into machine shop and he is silly.”

Blackwell has known Miller for three years now and is one of Miller’s “top dogs” for machining. Blackwell can build anything with few to no mistakes according to Miller. “He’s right on that edge between getting in trouble and doing something incredible,” said Miller. “He’s always just pivoting right on that edge. You just keep pushing him to do something incredible.” Miller also said that he’s very talented and very creative. “He’s always motivated; he’s always got something he wants to do,” said Miller. “He wants to try something different. He understands that sometimes you need to screw up in order to learn and get it done the right way.”

When Blackwell described what he makes in Machine Shop, he laughed and said, “A huge mess.”

Blackwell was born in Colorado Springs but moved to Sheridan from Minnesota when he was thirteen years old. He had moved to and from a number of places like: California, Minnesota, and Cheyenne, Wyo. His favorite thing about Sheridan though, are the mountains. “I like to go fishing and hunting in the mountains because it’s a way to get away from people,” said Blackwell.  He also likes the size of the town, and he said, “It’s not too big and it’s not too small.”

Blackwell is still planning on college and has been looking at Eastern Oregon University in La Grande, Ore. because they have a Marine ROTC program so he could become an officer in the marines. He would also like to get an engineering degree so that he could design different kinds of car parts. After graduation, he plans to be a missionary for the Mormon church and then work Special Ops for the marines.  Going on a mission is a cultural thing that Mormons do as a right of passage into the church. Blackwell has been looking forward to it despite the lack of contact that he will have with his family. “I want to give back because I have had so many great opportunities,” he said.  He won’t know where he is going for his mission until January but will leave in June if his ACL is healed by then. He said that his senior year is going to go “absolutely splendid.”

Blackwell is the son of Craig and Raelynne Blackwell.