West Point Returns to the House that the Late Chris Morgan Built, to Face Lehigh University


Photo Credits to GoArmyWestPoint.com

The late Black Knight’s wrestler, Christopher Jordan Lynn Morgan (C.J. Morgan), as nineteenth-ranked Army West Point returns to his native gym in West Orange, New Jersey to compete against the twelfth-ranked Lehigh University.

Mark Mincolelli

WEST ORANGE, NEW JERSEY — The hometown of the late Army West Point Cadet C.J. Morgan, would gather as a family to experience a night of sorrow, yet celebration in the remembrance of their beloved Chris, who resembled what it meant to be an exuberant leader, and a lively man who could light up a room with just a simple smile. Morgan, who tragically passed away in the summer of 2019 due to injuries sustained in a vehicular rollover incident in one of West Points training areas at just twenty-two years of age, was the embodiment of the type of character and personality that all West Orange native families wish to emulate, bringing happiness, joy, and love to not only his community, but to every location he came across.


Morgan had a strong impact on every individual he crossed paths with, including his head wrestling coach, Kevin Ward, who praised Chris Morgan for his, “special demeanor and positive attitude.” Ward also noticed that Morgan “was just a very positive spirit. He could make you feel really good just by being around him.” Ward and the rest of the West Point family are glad to have had  Morgan on the wrestling unit, and were heartbroken when the news got out that Morgan had passed, as was every individual blessed with the opportunity to meet Chris Morgan.

The Morgan family (father Christopher, mother April, brother Colin, sister Chase, and sister Cameron), surrounded by West Point senior wrestlers, who were celebrating their Senior Night at C.J. Morgan’s alma mater, West Orange High School.

His younger brother, Colin Morgan, is following in his big brother’s footsteps, and is currently enrolled at Army West Point, as his parents, Christopher and April, and sisters, Chase and Cameron, support him on his journey. “I am very proud and excited to have Colin at the academy with me. He will definitely be a great addition to the long, grey line,” stated C.J. Morgan shortly prior to his tragic death, as he expressed his excitement toward Colin’s decision of joining him at the academy.


That was the type of man C.J. Morgan was. Radiating positivity, and always prideful and thrilled about what the future holds. Chris always saw the best in people, and always expressed his love for those around him. His presence is truly missed, but West Orange and the Morgan family will continue to celebrate the legacy he left, and cherish the memories of Chris Morgan.


On a night where emotions ran high, nineteenth-ranked West Point (8-2) faced twelfth-ranked Lehigh University (8-3), who were riding a seven-match winning streak into Tarnoff Gymnasium at West Orange High School. The Mountain Hawks were tested on many occasions by the highly disciplined Black Knights team, who knotted the first six bouts. It was Lehigh’s fifth year senior Jordan Kutler who executed his second pin of the season, turning the match in favor of the Mountain Hawks, and propelled them to their eighth consecutive dual win (ninth of the season).

Lehigh University and Army West Point compete in a wrestling match at West Orange High School on January 31, 2020.

“Early on, Army came out with a lot of intensity and I don’t think our guys understood,” said Lehigh head coach Pat Santoro. “West Orange did a great job putting this together. Army is a well-coached team. They have good wrestlers. We knew it would be a battle. They came out fighting, but our second half guys really stepped up. They saw what was happening and made the adjustments.”


After a hard-fought match, West Point came up short, but in the end, the night was nothing shy of beautiful, and all the members who were involved in putting such a special night together in remembrance of C.J. Morgan’s life, on behalf of West Orange, we thank you, and are grateful for your efforts. The ultimate goal was achieved, and that goal was granting the Morgan family and the West Orange community with a night of celebration and love, two aspects that C.J. held dear to his heart.


Final Match Results (Credited to GoArmyWestPoint.com):


125 | Brandon Paetzell (Lehigh) def. Trey Chalifoux (Army), 6-3

133 | Andrew Wert Jr. (Army) def. #19 Nick Farro (Lehigh), 5-3

141 | Logan Brown (Army) def. Ryan Pomrinca (Lehigh), 6-5

149 | Jimmy Hoffman (Lehigh) def. #32 P.J. Ogunsanya (Army), 2-1

157 | No. 8 Josh Humphreys (Lehigh) def. Lucas Weiland (Army), 3-0

165 | No. 19 Cael McCormick (Army) def. Brian Meyer (Lehigh), 7-3

174 | Jordan Kutler (Lehigh) def. Ben Harvey (Army), Fall

184 | #16 Chris Weiler (Lehigh) def. 12 Noah Stewart (Army), 7-2

197 | #23 Jake Jakobsen (Lehigh) def. Alex Hopkins, 4-1

285 | #8 Jordan Wood (Lehigh) vs. #19 Ben Sullivan (Army), 4-0