Morgan’s Message

Morgan Rodgers and her dog

Morgan Rodgers and her dog

Ansley Davis, Staff Writer

Student-led clubs are an important aspect to every high school campus, offering various opportunities for students to learn teamwork and responsibility. Morgan’s Message is a club on our campus that was recently started. It strives to eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health within the student-athlete community and equalize the treatment of physical and mental health in athletics, while expanding the dialogue on mental health by normalizing conversations, empowering those who suffer in silence, and supporting those who feel alone.

Morgan Rodgers was a beloved daughter, sister, friend, and teammate. Similar to our Athens Academy athletes in high school, several programs began recruiting Morgan to play Division I Women’s Lacrosse. Morgan knew she wanted to play at the highest level the sport could offer while earning a world-class education. Her dream came true in the fall of 2014 when she accepted an offer to play for the Duke University Women’s Lacrosse Team.

 In January of 2017, just before the beginning of her sophomore season, Morgan endured a dream-shattering knee injury. She spent the next 12 months determined to return to the field, undergoing surgery and dedicating herself to an intensive rehabilitation program. Morgan struggled with this abrupt change because she felt she had lost control within her life. 

Morgan’s self-worth plummeted. While she presented a strong, happy, and resilient face to her community, she grappled with feeling that she was not living up to her expectations. Her feelings of isolation from the team and stress caused by other relationship issues accelerated the return of anxiety and depression. This time, Morgan chose to suffer in silence, keeping family and friends in the dark as she battled her mental health. 

As a result, Morgan died by suicide on July 11 of 2019 at the age of just 22. 

As a Morgan’s Message ambassador, I elevate her story to provide a platform where others feel safe to share their own, be a catalyst for change within our mental healthcare systems, and foster a community for which tomorrow always exists.

 Morgan’s Message is clear: as an athlete, there is no shame in seeking physical healthcare– the same should be true for mental healthcare. In order to close the gap, we must eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health together. 

We are advocates for mental health, and we want to create an environment where mental health is a priority. It’s more than just this football team. It’s more than just the number we wear on our backs. To impact the athletic community. To break the stigma surrounding mental health. This club helps to bring the spartan community together by providing the opportunity to unify for one mission. Over fourty members on our campus are united as one to take a shot at mental health.


As Athens Academy students we know – YOU ARE NOT ALONE.