WEST ORANGE, NJ — More than 100 golfers took to the course at Rock Spring Golf Club on Monday, Sept. 30, to raise money for the Chris Morgan Scholarship Fund, in honor of Christopher “CJ” Morgan, a West Orange High School graduate, standout wrestler and cadet at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point who was killed in a training accident in June. The scholarship was set up through the West Orange Scholarship Fund and will hand out its first awards to students in the class of 2020 who are interested in what Morgan loved: wrestling, football, music and ROTC.
“He was arguably our most accomplished wrestler,” Stephan Zichella, the WOHS dean of students and head wrestling coach, said in an interview with the West Orange Chronicle at the golf event. “He set so many records, but more than that, he meant so much to so many wrestlers who were with him and came after him. He’s going to live on. This is a big start to doing something great in CJ’s name.”
Morgan finished his wrestling career for the Mountaineers with the second most wins in school history, an Essex County Tournament championship and a fifth-place finish at the state championships in his senior year. He also played on the WOHS football team, was in the symphonic band and was a member of the JROTC program. More than his athletic accomplishments, Morgan’s parents remember his kindness.
“He could walk in and light up a room,” said his mother, April Morgan, in an interview with the Chronicle at the event. “If he ever saw someone by themselves, he would introduce himself and talk to them. He had everything you would want in a son. His presence is missed.”
Chris Morgan was the oldest of four siblings; his brother, Colin, is a student at West Point now. The Morgan family is planning to award four scholarships to members of the Class of 2020 in the spring and hopes to grow the fund. All money raised by the golf tournament is being put into the scholarship fund; donations can be made throughout the year and more information can be found at www.woboe.org/scholarshipfund.
“He was just a nice guy,” Chris Morgan Sr., said of his son in an interview with the Chronicle at the golf event. “We’re biased because we’re his parents, but ask any of his teachers and his friends who went to school with him and they would say the same thing.”