Ryan Allen Morgan was a “masterpiece of God,” said his younger brother Nathan at a memorial service Saturday night at the Ramona High School stadium where Ryan starred in football and track.
Damon Baldwin, his football coach, said: “God chose God’s athlete to be with him” in a tearful farewell heard by his parents, grandparents, West Point military friends and at least 1,000 others sitting behind them in the stands. Many wore jerseys with his No. 10, signed posters and shirts and left notes in guest books.
Pastor Rob Hubbard of Calvary Chapel recalled how Morgan, 21, attended church just hours before in a motorcycle crash near Ramona. And his former teammates called him a role model and fun-loving friend.
Other speakers included track coach Steve Albanese, Morgan's freshman football coach Bill Tamburrino, football teammates Seth Drake, Trevor Kerchner and Jarrod Gallegos and track teammate Zach Kovak. West Point prep school classmate Rob Bickel and West Point cadet Justin Godes attended in their dress whites. Varsity football teammate Tyler Jackson helped with a flower presentation to the family.
At the end of a 90-minute tribute, cheerleaders from his graduating class of 2010 passed out hundreds of balloons. His mother, Julie, hugged a blue one tightly, and on a count of 10 let it go—among a flotilla wafting toward heaven.