New Morse girls basketball coach Sara Morris watches the action during a recent practice in Bath. Eric Maxim/The Times Record

BATH — The high school winter sports seasons are underway, and new faces are getting acclimated to their programs at Morse High School.

Sara Morris is the new girls varsity basketball coach, while Nancy Riggs and Mariah Jollie will co-coach the school’s indoor track teams.

Morris, who brings more than 10 years of coaching experience, played at Mt. Ararat and then at Roger Williams University in Bristol, Rhode Island, where she graduated in 2011.

Following a three-year coaching stint at Central Maine Community College, Morris joined the girls staff at Mt. Ararat, where she worked under her father, Andy Morris, for five years before coaching the first team and junior varsity teams at Morse the past three seasons.

“Sara has been a part of our program for several years now, having coached both our first team and jayvee girls prior to taking on the varsity role,” Morse Athletic Director Nathan Priest said. “She has done a great job connecting with our current players. She teaches at Bath Middle School (sixth grade math), which is a plus, and wasted no time getting to work on our youth program this summer. We are excited to have her leading our girls program.”

Morris is ready for the challenge and is eager to continue teaching her young team.


New Morse girls basketball coach Sara Morris explains a drill to her team during a recent practice in Bath. Eric Maxim/The Times Record

“(We) want to continue building on the skills and success that previous coaches have instilled the past few seasons,” she said. “We are a very young program, so it is a good opportunity to rebuild our culture of teamwork, support, and competitiveness for the future. More importantly, I’m hoping the real-life lessons that basketball (and all sports) can teach us will help prepare these young ladies for success in the workforce and/or the collegiate level.”

In track, Morse enters its third season as an indoor program — it previously competed with the Brunswick and Mt. Ararat programs.

“We are thrilled to have Nancy and Mariah leading our indoor track and field team,” Priest said. “They should complement each other well as co-coaches.”

Jollie returns to the indoor track team after helping out on a part-time basis last season. As a college track athlete at Castleton University in Vermont, she competed in the hammer, javelin and weight throw events. She also competed on the lacrosse and rugby teams.

As the team ramps up their practices at both Bowdoin College and Morse, Jollie said she has “simple” goals for the program this winter.

“As a now-retired track athlete myself, the best thing to see throughout a season is personal growth,” she said. “I’m excited to see PRs (personal records) throughout the season and watching the students get better and better. The best thing to see as a coach is your athlete who has been working so hard at something to finally achieve it. Whether that be something as simple as performing a minor technique detail correctly in competition or running a faster time.”


New Morse girls basketball coach Sara Morris oversees a drill during a recent practice in Bath. Eric Maxim/The Times Record

Although it’s her first year coaching high school indoor track, Riggs is no stranger to the track.

“I ran track for Morse when I was a student and competed in the hurdles, high jump and sprinting events — or anything else my coach (Dane Dwyer) asked me to do,” she said.

Riggs added that she still seeks advice from her former coach.

“I’ve already reached out to Dane for advice,” she said. “He was very instrumental in my success as a track athlete and someone I have always admired as a coach. As a teacher at Morse High School, I’m looking forward to building on the work/foundation established by the previous coaches (Brent Luchies and Colby Gail).”

Added Priest: “She has coached youth track and field and will be a positive influence on our student-athletes.”

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