Morgan Brandt of Sumner-Fredericksburg continues the family tradition | Volleyball


Ask any coach at Sumner-Fredericksburg High School about Morgan Brandt, and that coach might not say what a great athlete she was for the Cougars.


JIM NELSON, sports journalist by messenger

They will talk about the girl who constantly laughs and always has a smile on her face. They will talk about the leader who is the first in training and the last to leave.

“She loves life,” former Sumner-Fredericksburg volleyball coach Tori Sorenson said. “She’s one of those kids who always smiles. It’s rare to see her frustrated or upset. Morgan just loves life.

“I don’t think you’ll find a better person than Morgan,” added Kevin Bergman, who had the honor of coaching him in basketball and softball.

Finally, each coach will move to Brandt the athlete. And she’s damn good.

His list of accomplishments in four years at Sumner-Fredericksburg is impressive. Elite all-state in volleyball. An all-state basketball player who has scored over 1,000 points in her career. She was the No. 2 player on the Cougars’ Class 2A state championship golf team this spring.

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And, to top it off, Brandt was a starter for four years on the softball team where — you guessed it — she won all-state honors.

For these reasons, the future Iowa State volleyball player was named the 2022 Courier Female Athlete of the Year.

Brandt was chosen by an area sports media group from an impressive list of six finalists, including Annika Behrends of Waverly-Shell Rock, Reese Johnson of Denver, Amanda Treptow of Denver, Sophia Hoffman of Dike-New Hartford and Grace Frericks of Cedar Falls. .

Trey Campbell and Morgan Brandt

The 2022 Male and Female Athletes of the Year from Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, Trey Campbell from Cedar Falls and Morgan Brandt from Sumner-Fredericksburg.

JIM NELSON, Regional Sports Editor

“I didn’t think anything about it,” Brandt said when asked if it would be weird when his prep sports career comes to an end later this month at the end of the softball season. “It’s never been what sport I play. I’m just out having fun with my friends.

“I don’t think about the rewards that come with it. They are right there. It’s more of the memories I’ve made and having my friends around me. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like not to go to the gym after school with my friends. It’s going to be weird not having any more.

“…Without athletics, none of these memories would have been created, so what would life have been like? It would have been boring. So thank you to all my teammates, coaches for all the memories you gave me, the opportunities you presented to me.

But as lovable as Brandt is, Sorenson and Bergman say don’t be fooled by the smiling persona she presents.

“She likes to have fun but is serious about what she does,” Bergman said. “She’s going to do all the little things right.”

“I’ve never coached another athlete who had an engine like hers,” adds Sorenson. “She goes 100% all the time, every time.

“She is possibly the most competitive athlete I have coached. She can’t stand losing, but at the same time she is able to handle the loss, look at the positives and find a way to get a better result next time. And she gets that from her teammates too.

Volleyball and Iowa State are the two main loves of Brandt, who grew up in a volleyball family. She is Brandt’s third daughter to serve as a setter for the Cougars. In fact, a Brandt has been Sumner-Fredericksburg’s assist for almost a year since 2009.


Sumner-Fredericksburg’s Morgan Brandt (3) reacts after scoring a point against the Dike-New Hartford in the Class 3A State Volleyball quarterfinal game at Alliant Energy PowerHouse on Tuesday, November 3, 2020 in Cedar Rapids


Kaylyn, eight years his senior, went on to play at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where she ranks third all-time in assists with more than 3,000. Jenna, four years his senior, played at both Iowa State and Northern Iowa, where she had over 1,000 assists.

Morgan grew up playing volleyball back and forth with her older sisters and traveled many miles to compete in club tournaments throughout the Midwest. Although close to all of her siblings, including her older brother, Isiah, Morgan, the youngest, wanted the most to grow up like Jenna, although her two sisters influenced her.

“Growing up I always had a ball in my hands, I lived in the gym,” Morgan said. “I saw them being role models for other kids, how everyone looked up to them, and I thought that was so cool. So when I was that player, I knew I wanted to be like them.

“They are the ones who gave me the wheel. They are the ones who started it all.

“But I grew up wanting to be like Jenna,” Morgan continued. “She tore her anterior cruciate ligament in December and now she’s running miles, half marathons. She always had the ambition to be the best. I think that’s why I wanted to be like her, I wanted to work as hard as her.

There’s one thing Morgan holds onto Jenna – she’s three inches taller.

“Yeah, she doesn’t like to talk about it,” laughed Morgan.

Brandt entered Sorenson’s roster as a freshman starting setter, but over the years her role evolved out of necessity to play one of the pin positions for the Cougars. At 6 feet tall, Brandt had a powerful swing once she practiced a bit.

“Because I come from a family of setters, nobody trained me to hit,” Brandt said. “

“We kind of started working with her in sophomore year, the basics, but it wasn’t until she was a junior that we really started to break down her approach and her swing,” Sorenson said. “Not many kids could step into that role and play to the level that she did, but she rose to the challenge, loved it.”

In her final three seasons, Brandt was part of a 5-2 offense as she finished with more than 1,600 career assists and nearly 900 kills.

Although she was primarily a setter for her Six Pack Club team which included Avery Beckett of Waverly-Shell Rock, Alivia Bronner of Cedar Falls, Lydia Imbrogno of Wapsie Valley and Kassidy Mohwinkle of Aplington-Parkersburg, Brandt spent time to pin position this former club. season.

Big colleges were on Brandt early on, but his love of Iowa State University made his choice easier. Brandt joined the Cyclones in her first season at Sumner-Fredericksburg.

“She never backed down from that decision,” Sorenson said.

“As long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to go to Iowa State,” Morgan said. “I remember pushing Jenna to go to Iowa State during her recruiting process. I love the campus, I love the coaching staff and the girls on the team.

While volleyball is the sport Brandt is best known for, Bergman says she had other options if she chose to pursue them.

“I think she could have gone to Division I in any sport she’s been in,” Bergman said.

As a post player, Brandt averaged 21.1 points per game in a winning basketball season. She led the Cougar softball team in RBIs a year ago with 43 in a season. She batted .441 with 23 extra hits on 102 at bats.

Bergman says Brandt, who leads SF with 30 RBIs this season, is a dangerous hitter every time she steps into the box.

“With the success of the golf team, she didn’t practice with us, so her shots weren’t as good as last year. But she’s still a threat every time she swings,” Bergman said.

Golf. It’s an interesting story.

Brandt ran the track as a freshman, but COVID wiped out his sophomore season. With nothing to do and the Meadowbrook County Club a mile from her home, Brandt went to the golf course and started hitting balls.


Morgan Brandt of Sumner-Fredricksburg hosts a shot against Dike-New Hartford on Thursday September 3, 2020 in Dike, IA.


“I didn’t expect to join the team, but I picked it up pretty easily,” said Brandt, who shot an 85 at a state tournament in Pheasant Ridge last month. “I met this guy in class, he just turned 84, Ron Kuethe is his name. He taught me everything.”

As her softball season draws to a close, Brandt is excited about her future. She takes a class at Ames once a week and says she will move there as soon as the softball season is over.

And that causes Brandt to reminisce about Sumner and his trips to J&C Grocery.

“I’m excited to venture out to a bigger city, to go to college,” Brandt said. “It will be different. I come from a school, a close-knit community. But I remember at orientation (at Iowa State) I realized that people didn’t know me here.

“At Sumner, you walk into the grocery store and people know you. You walk anywhere in town and everyone knows you. So it’s going to be weird not knowing anyone, like looking into the crowd and saying ‘where are my people?’

Either way, once Brandt, smiling, energetic, full of life and determined to succeed, unleashes her personality in Ames, she won’t be able to go unrecognized for long.


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