WEST ORANGE, NJ – West Orange High School has announced that wrestler Chris Morgan has been accepted into West Point Military Academy Preparatory School for the 2015-2016 school year. Upon completion of one year at the Preparatory School, Morgan will receive his appointment to West Point, where he will graduate after four years with a rank of Second Lieutenant.
Morgan, who recently placed fifth in the state at the NJSIAA Individual Championships held in Atlantic City March 6-8 in the 180 pound division, was also a co-captain on the successful Mountaineer Football team. He has been part of the WOHS Jr. Air Force ROTC since its inception last year and he currently holds the rank of Cadet Second Lieutenant. While he plans to wrestle at West Point, he said he is more interested in the pursuit of academic excellence and that he particularly enjoys social studies and math.
“I’m interested in Political Science, Foreign Affairs, and Global Economy,” Morgan said. “Whether or not I remain in the Army as a career officer, I want to work in Homeland Security.”
While in the Army, Morgan said, “I want to become a helicopter pilot, but I’m also interested in becoming a paratrooper or ranger.”
Morgan will be entering the Preparatory School on July 20 and credits his parents, Chris and April, for their support and encouragement on his journey. He also extended appreciation to West Orange resident and West Point Field Force Officer Vince Camisa and the West Point administrative office for their assistance with deadlines and applications.
“It’s a lot of paperwork,” he said with a smile.
Morgan reserved his last comment for his wrestling Coach, Stephan Zichella.
“I want to thank Coach Zichella for instilling character in me,” he said.
In response, Zichella had quite a lot to say about Morgan, who was only the fourth WOHS wrestler in the program’s history to medal at the state level, and who had just broken the school’s record for wins in a season (37).
“It’s a dream come true for Chris,” Zichella said. “Several D1 Colleges expressed interest in him, but his heart was with wrestling and serving his country in the United States Army. Three of our wrestlers have received appointments to the United States Naval Academy: Eric Washkewicz (2009), Matt Dunovant (2015) and Dylan Pennell (2018). We are proud to send another WOHS student-athlete to one of our country’s service academies.”
“Chris will have a great deal of academic and athletic success at West Point,” Zichella said, “and we are so excited for him and his family.”
“Chris excels at everything he tries,” said Major Joseph Marchesini, who is in charge of the WOHS Jr. Air Force ROTC. “He leads by example and he always strives to be the best. It’s a great quality to have.”