Fort Gibson’s Morice Ford: Indian Capital Technology Center Athlete of the Month

On Friday nights while playing strong safety for the Fort Gibson Tigers football team, Morice Ford is continuously making contact on opposing players hoping to leave his mark as well as forcing a turnover that would help the Tigers get a victory. During the day, the 5-foot-10 senior is using his own experiences of dealing with injuries to his advantage as a student in the Sports Medicine program at Indian Capital Technology Center.

“In the game I have to offset my lack of height by using my experience of keeping my hands in the receiver’s face and then knock down the football,” Ford explained about his competitive style of play on the football field. “It’s the same way in this class. My experience of athletic injuries is helping me understand how they happen as well as what to do to recover if I get hurt.”

Meagan Caldwell, now in her ninth year as the program instructor on the ICTC campus in Muskogee describes the real world learning environment for her students and how they make the most of it.

“Many of my students are involved in sports just like Morice. They’re ‘show-me’ or hands on type learners that really like the practical experiences including ice baths and STEM treatments along with designing exercise rehab programs targeted to specific injuries.”

Ford, who hopes to get an offer to play college football as well as having an avid interest to work in heating and air conditioning as an adult, agrees with Caldwell, who on Friday nights is the athletic trainer for Fort Gibson’s football team.

“I’m a learn-by-doing type person more than just your average classroom student,” admits Ford, “get straight to the job and do whatever needs to be done. This program is a perfect match for me.”

Sports Medicine students, or as they are often referred to as Therapy Technicians, learn about the anatomy and physiology of the human body and then learn how to put their knowledge into application through labs in order to gain an understanding of what to look for as well as how to treat and rehab an injury. The overall experience opens doors for students interested in a medical career as well as those who will be able to use their knowledge in day-to-day circumstances.

And according to Caldwell, the competitive spirit of athletes like Morice Ford creates a winning atmosphere while learning. 

“The competitive nature is a real plus in this program,” said Caldwell. “Athletes, for the most part, have a ‘refuse-to-lose’ mindset and that carries over as they want to be the best student in the classroom. I’ll hear them say, ‘I’m going to have the top score.’”

And the will to win from the classroom learning carries back to the playing field according to Caldwell.

“Morice is a perfect example because he puts into practice what he learns here when he’s playing sports on how to deal with the aches and pains of playing sports,” Caldwell said. “I’m sure that I could pull him from the field and have him help me with the care of other players.”

The Sports Medicine program is another way that Indian Capital Technology Center continues to empower its students with a head start to not only follow their dreams but get the victory in the game of life.