Love and Sports

Kyle McDonald, Sports Writer

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The complexities of an Athlete Marriage

Kyle McDonald, Sports Writer
Kyle McDonald, Sports Writer

Kyle McDonald | Sports Writer | @kylesportsbias

We have all seen the movie “Love and Basketball” where the neighbors who grow up to be basketball stars at USC end up falling in love and spending the rest of their lives together.  Utah Valley University has a story similar to that.  Ethan Smith is a senior wrestler out of Heber City, Utah.  Morgan Summers is a junior softball player from Tremonton, Utah.  And this is the short version  of how they fell in love.

Morgan and Ethan attended study hall together would say hi in passing but never crossed that threshold.  Morgan didn’t realize that Ethan knew she was following him and taking random pictures of him.  “She was stalking me all the time… everywhere I went I would see her, taking pictures of me.” Ethan finally broke that silence one day.  Morgan said hi as she walked by like she normally did and Ethan responded “that’s all you’re going to say?”  Life would never be the same for them.  Morgan turned around and the next day they had plans to go sledding but they didn’t work out so they ended up going to a party at Ethan’s house.

Although they didn’t go on their first official date until February 2013, they both knew there was something special there.  “I knew there was something special at first for sure,” Ethan would say as he looked at his wife with a twinkle in his eye.  “After meeting her family, I knew she was gonna be the one.”  Even Morgan’s father knew that something was up when Ethan had to drive the long distance to Tremonton in order to get his blessing.  The little brother almost came between Ethan getting approval.  “The little turd never left,” Ethan said with exasperation.  Finally the soon-to-be father in law just told Ethan to come out with it.  If that wasn’t bad enough, they almost lost the ring before he even had a chance to put it on.

While walking up a road in Midway, Utah in March 2014, Ethan got down on one knee and as he went to open the box, Morgan couldn’t contain herself and knocked the ring out of his hand.  “It almost went off a cliff,” Ethan stated.

“It was really good.  It was special,” Morgan said.  It was even more special because Ethan’s mom and her best friend walk out of the bushes where they caught it all on tape.

These two lovebirds would marry in June of 2014 in the Salt Lake Temple and they couldn’t be happier.  They may not see each other a lot during the season but they both appreciate the knowledge that the other one will always be there for them when they get home.  “I love just having that support and receiving that support is awesome,” Morgan says.  Morgan even goes so far as to put on Ethan’s double thick glasses and parade around just to put a smile on his face.

Even though it is fun for them to watch each other compete in their respective sports, it is still stressful.  “Very stressed out,” Morgan says in reference to watching her husband compete on the wrestling mats.  “We know each other’s goals and everything… it’s a lot of fun,” Ethan says.

When the love between two people is so strong that they can’t think of just one thing the other does to make them happy, it makes for a great relationship.  These two successful, determined, and gifted student-athletes have that.  No matter what happens they will always be there for one another and support each other as they strive to reach their goals.

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