Dennis Rodman has nothing on Stritch’s Morehead

J. Patrick Eaken

Cardinal Stritch 6-foot-2, 195-pound senior forward Dwayne Morehead III does not care if he is the Cardinals’ leading scorer or not. 

He has his own job to do and just wants to win.

Morehead has already signed to play NCAA Division I FCS football at the University of Dayton, and Stritch cage coach Jamie Kachmarik wants to take advantage of his athleticism on the basketball court.

“I play in a Dennis Rodman type of role,” Morehead said. “Coach K (Kachmarik) told me, hey, I’m a football person. I’m the type of guy in which basketball is my second sport and something to have fun with, and something to grow my leadership with because I’m not the best player for that sport on that team. Basically, that is how he told me to do it and I just do it, you know what I’m saying.”

As a junior, Morehead averaged three points, four rebounds and had 35 steals (1.4 per game) while leading Stritch to an 18-7 season. This year, he’s averaging 4.2 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 2.2 steals. Meanwhile, Stritch improved to 5-4 with a 74-45 win over Toledo Area Athletic Conference foe Ottawa Hills on Tuesday.

“He started last year, starts this year, but he’s always been the guy who kind of does all the dirty work — the football guy,” Kachmarik said. “He’s athletic, defends, rebounds, and does little things that don’t show up in the stats, but plays extremely hard while he’s out there. He gets deflections, always leads us in our press and has always been a high energy guy.

“You just need guys like him,” Kachmarik continued. “You’ve got guys like (senior guard) Jhaiden Wilson who can score, so now you need guys who are going to be tough and rebound and give us other opportunities. 

“Dwayne does a good job — most of his points are usually kind of breakaway because he gets a steal or he is out on top of the press and when we do get a steal on the back of it, he’s out there ready to go and finish. He’s done a good job of shooting and making free throws. That has all been big for us and he’s done that for two years.

“His anticipation from being on the defense, being a safety and defensive back, he really anticipates when a pass is coming and can shoot the gap or get deflections or make steals. His steals are not so much taking it away from a player who is dribbling, it is more anticipating the next pass and getting steals that way. 

“He is strong and really big in the weight room, and he’s athletic that way. That makes him strong and a guy is not going to move him out of the way and that type of stuff. His strength and his commitment in the weight room have helped him in most sports.”

Plus, Morehead wears the black-rimmed glasses, which may fool his opponents into thinking he’s not the grinding type of player after all.

“I tried contacts. I really didn’t like touching my eyes like that, so it took a minute for me to work with the goggles, but I said, ‘Hey, I’m going to look nerdy with these, but oh well,’” Morehead said.


Getting back to business

In football, Morehead has been a first team All-TAAC performer his junior and senior seasons. He was a big reason Stritch was 5-5 under coach Bryan Dudash his junior year and 3-5 under Gene Rucker his senior year.

His senior season on offense, Morehead ran for 558 yards on 91 carries (6.1 yards per carry) and caught 23 passes for 280 yards. As a junior, Morehead ran for 674 yards on 106 attempts, averaging 6.4 yards and scoring six TDs and he caught 14 passes for 213 yards (15.2) and a TD.

Morehead is hoping to have the same affect on the basketball team, which lost four games to larger schools Johnstown-Monroe (80-53), Clyde (54-52), Perrysburg (50-42) and Willard (66-59 in overtime) to quickly fall to 1-4. Clyde beat Stritch on a buzzer beater at the Rossford Holiday Tournament, and the Cardinals had a chance to win against Willard in regulation. Morehead called Clyde’s buzzer-beater a “killer shot,” but added that the Cardinals should never have gotten themselves into that position.

“It was just mental mistakes at the last second there,” Morehead said.

Since then, Stritch has won four straight games over Oak Harbor (52-46), Hardin Northern (97-48), Bowling Green (49-33) and the Green Bears to open league play. They also defeated Lexington, 63-50, earlier in the season. Morehead says the TAAC championship will come down to “whoever plays the hardest.”

“We lost to some really good teams, but we’re finally practicing in our gym instead of St. Jerome, so that helps,” Kachmarik said. “So hopefully we can build off the wins, and Willard is good, but we lost in overtime. We had a chance to win it in regulation but didn’t make the shot, and then Clyde threw that one from nearly half court. It is what it is. It happens, you know.”

Morehead added, “We’ve got a good solid team this year — very athletic. We do not have as many seniors as we had last year, but still have a lot of good talent in our senior core. We are just trying to play hard this year and win. We’ve just got to keep grinding for basketball, keep working hard, and keep involving our teammates since we are a different team from years before.”

Kachmarik says Morehead has a lot going for him, no matter how this basketball season turns out.

“He’s a good student and just someone whose mom and dad are very involved. He comes from a good family and they’ve raised him well and he’s just a good young man. I think the best is ahead of him when he goes to Dayton,” Kachmarik said.

Morehead, whose parents both played high school sports, said about them, “They always have been my life. My dad has also been a hero to me. My mom has always been there for me, hard on me for education, and they’ve been great through this process and I’m just very grateful for them.”

Morehead stresses that his decision to attend Dayton was more about academics than sports.

“It was basically education. My parents instill education in my household, so I just had to pick the best place I felt comfortable with and for education,” Morehead said.





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