Where are they now? Morelli making an impact

Former Mancos High School student-athlete remains involved with prep athletics

In 2008, Dylaina Morelli was throwing the discus for Mancos High School. Enlargephoto

Sam Green/Cortez Journal

In 2008, Dylaina Morelli was throwing the discus for Mancos High School.

From 2005 until 2009, former Mancos High School student-athlete Dylaina Morelli excelled in volleyball, basketball and track. In addition, the three-sport star utilized charisma to keep her teams loose and bring teammates together.

Now a teacher and coach at Ignacio High School, Morelli continues to impact the prep athletic scene. A difference-maker on many levels, the former Mancos High School star recently spoke with the Mancos Times about her past, present and future.

A memorable athletic career

Participating in volleyball every year of her high school career, Morelli excelled as a defensive specialist and helped the Bluejays qualify for state in 2005, 2007 and 2008.

Discussing some of her favorite volleyball memories, Morelli recounted how an unexpected trip onto the court her freshman year yielded unexpected results.

"I was really kind of a nobody my freshman year," said Morelli. "My sister and I got the last two (varsity) jerseys. I got put in at (regionals) against Meeker. When the first spike came towards me, I ducked. It just kind of lightened the mood for everybody.and we made it to state."

Morelli also suited up for the Mancos varsity basketball team, and over the course of four seasons, used her strength and athleticism to dominate the paint.

On the track was where Morelli excelled, leading the Bluejays in the throwing events and competing on several state-qualifying relays. The top-ranked discus thrower in the state throughout her senior season, Morelli fell short at the state track meet.

She managed to walk on to the track team at Western State University and spent two years competing in the discus, shot put, hammer and weight.

Asked to sum up the most valuable lesson that she learned during her athletic career, Morelli mentioned "work ethic."

"I would say that athletics taught me that you need to work hard for everything you get," said Morelli. "Not everything is handed to you, and it shouldn't be."

An impactful teacher/coach

Hoping to impart the lessons that she learned to future generations, Morelli currently works at Ignacio High School as a teacher, assistant basketball coach and head girls track coach. Morelli also works with the school's weightlifting club.

Speaking about what she enjoys about her current occupation, Morelli mentioned that she enjoys forming bonds with students.

"You get to know kids on different levels," said Morelli. "You get to watch them grow."

As for her future, Morelli plans to continue teaching and coaching in Ignacio while completing her Masters in Coaching at Adams State University. After that, Morelli's future is anyone's guess, yet it seems likely that the one-time Mancos star will continue her involvement in prep athletics for many years to come.