Nederland High senior quarterback Bryce McMorris was called upon last year to lead the Bulldogs in place of his now-graduated stepbrother, Blaysin Fernandez, when the latter could not go on because of injury, and he did so with unwavering poise.

Hard work pays off, as the old saying goes. For his efforts in helping guide Nederland to a share of the District 12-5A Division II championship and a playoff victory over Fort Bend Willowridge as a junior, McMorris will once again helm the Bulldogs offense for head coach and athletic director Monte Barrow.

“He had a lot of playing time last year … he was going into the season as the backup,” Barrow told Texas Scorecard. “Bryce started [the game against West Orange-Stark High] and played a lot throughout the season just because of some unfortunate injuries to Blaysin. The bright side of that [was] the game experience which hopefully will play a part in his success this year.”

The coach said that McMorris and Fernandez, who was a three-year letterman, have a good relationship.

According to Barrow, McMorris “has the arm to stay in the pocket and make throws.”

“I think it helps keep a defense more balanced,” he said. “He’s not what you call a runner, but he can do it. He can make throws on the run … he’s good at keeping his eyes downfield when he’s on the move and making decisions outside the pocket.”

Barrow admires the 6-foot, 170-pound signal-caller’s mental fortitude.

“He doesn’t get down on himself,” the coach said. “[He] has a short memory, which I think you have to do as a quarterback. They get too much blame and too much praise, as people say. He doesn’t let the bad play turn into another bad play. Same with [a] good play. He can forget that, move on, and make the next play.”

In nine games in 2018, McMorris threw for close to 800 yards. He tossed for a solid 226 yards in the 22-16 win over Willowridge.

Nederland has 26 returning lettermen and 10 total starters from last year’s 10-2 area finalist squad. On McMorris’s side of the ball, sophomore Kyndon Fuselier and junior Kade Scott, who is coming back from a season-ending collarbone injury, shore up the running game.

As of this writing, McMorris and the Bulldogs were preparing for their 2019 opener against Beaumont-Port Arthur metropolitan area rivals WO-S.