Morgan Hurlock Senior PicMorgan Hurlock, a recent graduate of Cape Henlopen High School, is the 2016 recipient of the Jim Cresson Scholarship, named for the late Cape Gazette reporter.

Morgan has been a member of the National Honor Society and Leo Club.  As a student in the Academic Challenge Program, she was enrolled in college-level math and English classes.  While in this program for the past five years, she says she has had the opportunity to learn from university professors who specialize in poetry, drama, short stories, and composition, and this has helped improve her creative writing abilities.

She founded her own recycling campaign and received numerous Superintendent and Principal’s Commendations while maintaining a 4.0 GPA.  She was selected as the lead alto player in the All State Jazz Ensemble and performed in the All State Concert Band, and the Junior and Senior Sussex County Honors Band.  She was also a drum major in the CHHS Marching Band and has received numerous musical awards and honors.

Morgan will attend the University of Delaware to pursue a degree in music education and further her studies in jazz and classical music.  She also hopes to continue exploring her love for writing in the classroom and community, as well as for her own fulfillment.

Jim Cresson, a Sussex County native, was a journalist and photographer in Delaware.  A Vietnam veteran, outdoorsman, artist, and musician, Jim had a great love for his country and nature, and a particular fondness for Native American history and culture. He spent the final years of his journalism career writing and taking photographs for the Cape Gazette before dying in an automobile accident in 2005.

The Jim Cresson Memorial Fund Scholarship recognizes a Sussex County senior who, through an essay contest focusing on interests that Jim Cresson shared, demonstrates the character of Jim Cresson.  Each year, Sussex County seniors are invited to apply for the scholarship in the second semester of their senior year.

Administered by the Greater Lewes Foundation, the Jim Cresson Memorial Fund was established by friends of Jim to perpetuate his memory.  The following is Morgan’s winning entry.

“The Pack”

I live with a pack of security guards. Some people plant a garden in their back yard, and others make room for swings or a trampoline. But my backyard is occupied by four massive German Shepherds. Some people are notified of a visitor with the echo of a chime. My door bell involves a choir of woofs and barks that only cease when I yell each of their names in their usual order. “Rommel! Koda! Preacher! Asia! It’s okay!” Although they become silent, they continue to stare with unremitting attention until the stranger either leaves, or comes inside. They have made it their mission to protect the house and its contents against all unknown strangers. The postman delivers the mail? Bark. My friends come over to hang out? Bark. Bark. Sometimes they even bark at my familiar vehicle when I come home from school, just for good measure. To them, the forces of evil come in all shapes and sizes. Surely the man in brown who drops mysterious cardboard boxes on the doorstep must be an intruder. And those four legged creatures with weird horns coming out of their heads must sneak out of the woods each night with the hopes of harming the family. They view themselves as watchful protectors capable of chasing any being away with their mighty howls. They do this out of love.

I live with a pack of wild animals. No matter what time of day it is, letting the four beasts out of the pen always includes a lot of jumping, growling, and whining. I have learned to never wear my favorite shoes when opening the gate. They will only be ruined with muddy paw prints and the saliva of slobbery kisses. The creatures then run through the woods together, with their muscular haunches rotating to the beat of their stride and their ears pinned back for maximum speed. Going for a walk involves winding through tree trunks, chasing air around bushes, and sprinting up the trail with optimal agility. So really, anything but walking. Just like any pack, they try to prove their dominance to each other. Sometimes, Asia will circle around Preacher with her tail held in the air as a sign of superiority, only to be met with his bared teeth and malicious snarl. When the pack is free to roam about the woods, they spend their time chasing butterflies and pretending to help my grandfather plant tomatoes. Occasionally, they tear through the soil and crush the vegetables, but they do this out of love.

I live with a pack of athletes. My pack takes fetch to a whole new level. They worship the ball. They become the ball. They understand that when I say these four letters, it means we are about to play their favorite game. Hold a round object in the air, and you will hear sixteen paws stop dead in their tracks. Who knew that a circle could conjure the same incessant level of focus that is directed toward a potential intruder? Their ears stand perfectly straight as the mesmerizing sphere dangles just beyond their reach. But they know what is coming next. Just like every other time before, the ball will soon be hurled far into the woods for them to retrieve. This moment of anticipation is what arouses so much energy inside their powerful legs. Systematically, they chase, catch, return, and release, only for the process to be repeated all over again. Sometimes they slobber on the ball so much that the ball sticks to my hand and makes my arm slimy, but they do this out of love.

I live with a pack of best friends. No matter what time of day it is, they are always happy to see me. When I return home from school, I am immediately surrounded by dogs circling the outside of my car. Before I open the door all the way, a snout quickly pokes though the small crack to be the first to lick my hand. A scratch on the head will swiftly turn into a belly rub, because that is their favorite spot and they certainly waste no time getting to the good stuff. They beg me for biscuits and sometimes I give in, even if I know they have already had one. They listen to my stories without protest, although I know one cannot expect much opposition from a dog. Sometimes, I believe they actually understand me. It is true what they say about dog being man’s best friend. It seems that even after a rough day, their smiles and kisses are enough to make me forget about my troubles. They don’t mess around with these kisses either. If they are playing at the boarder of the woods and spot me from far off, they will sprint toward me just to lick my arms and face as much as they can. My dogs nearly knock me over every time, but they do this out of love