One second he was rejoicing, the next he was gone. Reggie Garrett Jr., quarterback for West Orange -Stark High School.  By now, everyone knows what happened.  He threw a touchdown pass, ran to the sidelines and fell to the ground.

The game went on and no one was for sure on what was really happening.  Soon, the word spread like wild fire.  Reggie was gone.  Devastation swept through Orange with a force that no one could have expected.  People who didn’t even know Reggie wept when they heard the news.  How could this happen to someone so young and physically fit?  No one is for sure.

Preliminary autopsy results have ruled out a brain aneurysm and a heart attack.  Cardiac arrhythmia is still a possibility, but it’s not definite until all the test results come back. 

According to the Mayo Clinic website “heart arrhythmia occurs when the electrical impulses in your hear that coordinate your heartbeats don’t function properly, causing your heart to beat too fast, too slow or irregularly.”

Whatever the cause of death may be, Reggie lived and died doing what he loved the most, playing football. His jersey number, 12, is being retired. Family, friends and strangers from all over the country mourn for the loss of such a wonderful young man and extraordinary athlete. 

School counselors and ministers from all over the county have volunteered their time to to help students at WO-S with the grieving process and will continue to do so for as long as they are needed. Businesses in and around Orange are showing their support by placing blue and silver bows on their front doors.  Memorial funds have been set up and many schools in the area have set up fund raisers to help the family with the funeral expenses. 

Donations to the family can be made at Orange Savings Bank for The Reggie Garrett Jr. Memorial Fund, account number 134906; and at the Firestone Credit union at 2102 MacArthur Drive in Orange, account number 11414-01.

A memorial service for Reggie will be held at Dan R. Hooks Stadium at West Orange – Stark High school on Friday, Sept. 24 from 6 to 8 p.m. A funeral service will be held at the Community Church on MLK in Orange on Saturday, Sept. 25 at noon, in honor of Reggie’s football number. 

Visitation will be from 9 to 11 a.m. Funeral arrangements have been made with Sparrow Funeral Home.


About Nicole Gibbs

Editor of The Record Newspapers