Football Jersey Honoring CJ Morgan

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Samantha Nunez, News and Politics Editor

West Orange, NJ – On September 13, West Orange High School retired former student, Christopher “CJ” Morgan’s football jersey during the first WOHS home football game of the season.

CJ Morgan was a graduate of the class of 2015. He was involved in sports like wrestling and football and a member of the WOHS band and Symphonic Winds Ensemble, where he played the trombone. He was also second lieutenant in the ROTC program. “He was well rounded and an avid musician” states Stephan Zichella, his former wrestling coach. “When the accident happened on June 6, it changed our lives forever.”

CJ was involved in a training accident on June 6, at the US Military Academy in West Point, NY, which took his life. 

In response, The Board of Education decided to retire CJ’s jersey in his memory. The ceremony started of with Athletic Director Ron Bligh calling out CJ’s family, friends, Dr. Scott Cascone, the new WO superintendent, Board of Education members, and Coach Zichella. Zichella had given Morgan’s mother a bouquet of flowers to honor CJ’s memory as Dr. Cascone then read the instructions to the jersey retirement. 

“I can only say this, God has Chris in his keeping but we do at West Orange High School he will always be in our hearts and memories no other player at West Orange High School will ever wear the number 61 again,” says Ron Bligh, director of athletics. 

“It’s a great honor to have the number be retired,” Zichella says. 

A scholarship was honored in CJ’s memory. With the help of local business, West Orange community and alumni, they were able to raise $25,000 and are hoping for a goal of $50,000. They have also established the Christopher ‘CJ’ Morgan Memorial Golf Outing, that will be held to raise money that was held on September 30, 2019.