In advance of the Hasbrouck Heights Class of 2018 Hall of Fame Ceremony on October 18, TAPinto Hasbrouck Heights/Wood-Ridge/Teterboro is running a series of articles profiling the inductees.
HASBROUCK HEIGHTS, NJ - Morgan Horner possessed a rare combination of strength and speed in a 189 pound body. His list of accomplishments in his career rival the best in Hasbrouck Heights High School wrestling history. He stands with Hasbrouck Heights Hall of Famer Bill Spindler, Class of 1976, and Mickey O’Malley, Class of 2018, as the only wrestlers in Hasbrouck Heights’ history to win a state title.
"Morgan Horner was a tremendous wrestler,” stated Hasbrouck Heights Athletic Director Mike Scuilla, who was the Aviators wrestling head coach at the time. “His offense was the best I have ever seen."
It is his state championship match that will go down, for those who saw, it as an unforgettable memory.
"He was a huge underdog going into his start final match, he had broken his nose in the semi-final and people were worried whether or not he would be able to wrestle at all,” Scuilla recalled. “The trainers did an incredible job of gluing his nose closed with a plastic covering only allowing him to breathe through his mouth.
“His opponent was an incredible wrestler from Wallkill Valley (Chris Skretkowicz) who had a 75 match winning streak on the line.” Scuilla continued. “He was the returning state champ who had never been taken down that year and had beaten everyone in the tournament by 15 or more points. Morgan took him down 2 times in the first 45 seconds, the second takedown leading to an eventual pin."
It capped an incredible career at Hasbrouck Heights, which saw Horner finish with 119 career wins, and a perfect 35-0 senior season, including a State Tournament win and being named the Most Outstanding Wrestler in New Jersey.
Horner won the Garfield Tournament three times, the Bergen County Tournament twice, and was three time District Champ and a a two time regional champ.
"Morgan was one of the sweetest kids you will ever met, " Scuilla recalled. "He would be hugging his mom right before his match, then try to break his opponent in half during the match, then help his opponents up and pat him on the back."
Morgan went on to finish ranked 3rd on the USA Wrestling High School All-American team.
Morgan accepted a full athletic scholarship to wrestle for Lock Haven University and finished top 12 at the Division 1 NCAA tournament two years in a row.
Morgan went on the serve the country proudly in the Army after college, serving two tours of duty. Morgan currently lives on the West Coast with wife Nacima, and their two daughters.
(Thanks to Mike Scuilla for contributing to this article.)
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