Chase Morgan finishes wrestling season at nationals

Mark Martin

Chase Morgan finishes wrestling season at nationals

St. Louis - Former Ripley Viking wrestler Chase Morgan was in a setting last weekend few can only dream about.

As a member of the West Liberty State University wrestling program, Morgan competed in the 165-pound class at the NCAA Division II National Tournament.

While things did not go as Morgan had hoped inside America’s Center, the junior is grateful for the experience and now has his sights set on returning in 2022 with much different results.

Morgan was pinned in the second period by JoJo Gonzales of American International University (Springfield, Massachusetts) in his first match and was sidelined from the tournament when he lost by a major decision, 13-3, to Braydon Huber of Mary University (Mary, North Dakota).

“Even though I lost, it was a true blessing to get to put my feet on the mat,” Morgan said. “My matches didn’t go as planned but nothing in life ever does.

“It’s those who learn how to rebuild themselves back up in moments like these and continue to fight. (They) are the ones who will see the good.”

Morgan, who wrestles at West Liberty with his twin brother, Chance, was part of a Hilltopper team to finish fourth at the nationals – the highest in school history at the NCAA Division II level (West Liberty was once a member of the NAIA).

West Liberty of head coach Danny Irwin had two national champs in Cole Laya at 125 and 133-pounder Tyler Warner.

Morgan can’t wait for the next step in his wrestling career.

“I just hope the Lord allows me to continue to do what I love with my team and with my brother,” he said. “This is only the beginning for a very exciting and hopeful 2022 Hilltopper team.”

Not only was Morgan thrilled to compete at the national event for West Liberty, but to also represent his high school program and the area in which he grew up.

“As always at heart, I’m from Ripley and love my tiny town.”

And with his small-town roots, Chase Morgan will continue to work hard and dream big.