At the midfield, twenty rows up at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas center stage! A place I’ve seen a number of games: the US Men’s National Team, Mexico, Nigeria, The NCAA Final Four, and the Houston Texans, but tonight the grass has vanished replaced by mounds of dirt and littered with junk yard cars! The noise from the machines is deafening, the smell of fuel and the rage of the crowd has brought every young boys sandpit dreams to reality! Yes, this is MONSTER JAM! Adjusting to the bellowing screams of the engines my attention is drawn to the massive score board that’s announcing the drivers for the next heat. The image at right appears and in a state of bewilderment I think to myself, how do I know this kid? Where have I coached him? (As we age, I suppose our recall isn’t what it used to be but I’ve rarely forgotten a face I’ve coached in the last twenty years! Names maybe, but faces no!) And I know this man! It’s Morgan Kane! Immediately, I text former Virginia Rush DOC Matt Dacey to confirm, as his son and I share a passion for these Monsters of Mayhem! Seconds, later Matt replies “You must be at Monster Jam!” Morgan’s performance is remarkable, making the finals and then having in my humble opinion, the best “freestyle” run of the night, the 70,000 plus clearly agreed!
As late night turned into early morning, I’m still racing with emotional adrenaline! I was able to get in contact with Morgan via text, thanks Dacey! There were so many questions running through my head! What a gig! How did you land this? Training? The Rush? Here are Morgan’s responses to a few of my questions:
When did you join the club?
- Had tryouts with Rush in 2006 and made Nike. In 07 + 08 played with the U18 Development squad under Jay Hoffman.
You lived in North Carolina and played for the Virginia Rush. How long was that drive?
- The commitment to play for a top level team was a drive... Hour and 15 minutes one way.
When did you start driving monster trucks for a living?
- I started my Monster Jam career in 2010, I was 20 years old. The youngest driver in the circuit at the time.
Driving these massive machines looks like it can take a toll on your body, are you doing any training?
- There really isn't any driver training that takes place, you just go and do it! Go Karting, motocross, mud racing, etc. is our training. Anything with wheels! Our team tries to work out and stay fit when we can, but the demanding work hours are enough to exhaust your body.
Did you learn anything playing with the Rush that you take with you today?
- Everyday is a life lesson. I was fortunate to be brought up through the Rush organization and shown the right path. The coaches, parents, and players were amazing and it gave me the opportunity to play college ball.
Are you still involved with the game now?
- Yes. Fall 2013, I was asked to be the Assistant for Currituck High's Men's Varsity squad. This allowed me to train with the boys and teach them the techniques I've learn from my time with Rush and at the Division 1 level.
- We do a lot of International shows with Monster Jam. Trying to make connections with the different cultures is hard, but the international language is soccer. If you mention soccer, or football, you have their attention. The performances are held in many of the football club stadiums and we are continuing to expand. For example, Dutch club, Vitesse, calls it's home the Gelredome. It's two huge shows for Monster Jam and we are trying to get a few media sessions together to showcase what we have to offer.
Anything you’d like to add?
- Rush has treated me like family and I want to reach out to invite any members of the Rush organization to visit Monster Jam at a city near you! Check out MonsterJam.com for events and tickets. Contact me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and follow my travels on Morgan-Kane.com!
Next time Monster Jam hits your city, go check out one of our own Morgan Kane! Check out his freestyle run in Houston below:
Written by Dave Dengerink - Director Of Coaching USSDA - Texas Rush.