School, community rally to honor local icon

Published 6:50 pm Wednesday, October 11, 2017

SWAN QUARTER — Morgan Harris is a special part of the Hyde County community. The former teacher and coach at Mattamuskeet School is a beloved and well-known figure.

That’s why, a few years ago, the school’s Booster Club elected to honor Harris’ contributions by installing an entryway and fencing around the ball fields, dubbing it the Morgan Harris Athletic Complex. The club wanted to honor those people who brought the Mattamuskeet community to where it is today.

The Booster Club provided the funds for the entrance, and after some brainstorming, the community nailed down a way to fund at least part of the fencing project, according to Assistant Principal and athletic director Bryant Morrison. More than half of the project was funded through advertisements hung around the entrance.

Morrison said more than 40 businesses bought signage to contribute to the cause, and almost all of those businesses are in Hyde County.

To raise the remaining amount, organizers started the Buy a Brick fundraiser, in which residents could purchase a brick and have it personalized via sandblasting in honor of a loved one, or marked with a graduation date or another significant time.

The brick fundraiser ended Friday, and Morrison said the school was able to raise $7,400 to cover the rest of the fencing.

Morrison said the bricks will be installed at the entrance, and the intent is to install them by the start of baseball season in February.

Although Morrison has only been in the area for a few years, he said he could see how this project brought residents together and how important it was to honor Morgan Harris.

“It brings fellowship and positive relationships with the school and community. The bricks honor and memorialize a past, present or future Laker. These projects essentially leave a legacy for Hyde County Schools,” Morrison said. “It is (an) honor and privilege to be a part of this planning and development for the Morgan Harris Athletic Complex.”

Bricks are still available for purchase at an after-deadline price. Four-by-8-inch bricks are $90, and 8-by-8-inch bricks cost $180. Checks can be made payable to MECHS Athletics, 20392 U.S. Highway 264, Swan Quarter.