BRIDGEWATER, NJ — Nick Morgan was dressed to impress. He sported a neat, navy blue suit, black dress shoes, and a patriotic American flag tie for the final round of the Somerset Patriots Kid CEO competition on Thursday night.
An hour before the rain-delayed game against the Bridgeport Bees began at 7:35 p.m., Morgan and four other finalists, Jimmy Marvits of Hillsborough, Darla Rudnicki of High Bridge, Reina Schumann of Flemington, and Simrah Shah of Warren went through on-field interviews down on the field in front of the fans in attendance.
Morgan aced them, and the Somerset Patriots and their partners at Spearhead Staffing hired the 14-year-old who just finished up his time at Conackamack Middle School to be the 2018 Kid CEO. When he found out, he had a smile from ear to ear.
“It feels amazing,” said Morgan, who says baseball is his passion. “Being able to come out here again and to try for my second year in a row, it feels great to be able to work now at the place I love and my second home.”
As the Kid CEO, Morgan will join front office staff members for the Patriots for five games this season to learn about ticketing, merchandising, promotions, media, marketing, and ballpark operations. He will also sit in on staff meetings and write about the experiences. Morgan will also receive a personalized jersey, free tickets, be able to throw out a ceremonial first pitch prior to a game, and have a meet and greet with the players and former manager and New York Yankee Sparky Lyle.
“This means a whole lot to me. I can’t wait to help the Patriots,” Morgan said. “What I’m looking forward to most is to be hands on and seeing how they work behind the scenes when the game’s not going on.”
Morgan was a finalist last year, but ultimately wasn’t chosen. He said that experience helped him stay calm and he knew what to expect to an extent.
“For sure,” he said. “Last year, I was really nervous, but this year it was a lot less nerve racking for me. I was able to get my answers out in front of all the fans. It was definitely helpful.”
Morgan is a straight A student who took all honors classes, keeps score during games on a regular basis. He loves to discuss baseball and statistics and hopes to be in the booth as a commentator one day. Being the Kid CEO will give an introduction to how the ballpark operates and give him a better understanding of the day-to-day lives of the staff and players. The experience will also be beneficial to him in the long run.
“Really, I just want to see how much I can do and what I can be able to take with me when I grow up,” Morgan said. “In the future, I want a career being a commentator, so I think everything I learn here I can take with me. Learning the ins and outs will be a great experience.”
Morgan’s mom, Karen Hall-Morgan, was one of many who came out in support of Nick. They all had signs with his picture on it. While Morgan himself was as happy as can be after winning, Hall-Morgan was just as happy, if not more, and couldn’t be any prouder of her son.
“It’s awesome,” she said. “He’s really been looking forward to this and he’s worked really hard. He tried last year and it was a learning experience from it. He came out strong this year and prepared a little more. He really wants to go into broadcasting. Baseball has been his life. It’s been our whole family’s life. It will be a good experience for him. Being here to do all of those activities and meeting the players and the coaches and being at staff meetings and learning everything behind the scenes, he can’t wait to start.”
Spearhead Staffing, which is located in Bridgewater, is an award-winning IT staffing and recruiting company.