Hall, a former student at St. Pauls High, was taking part in a wrestling workout when he began to have trouble breathing, school officials said. He collapsed shortly afterward.
CPR was performed after emergency personnel arrived, but Hall was in full cardiac arrest. The incident occurred around 5 p.m. and Scotland County EMS arrived about seven minutes after the initial call, according to Mike Edge, assistant director with the Scotland County Emergency Services.
Hall was taken to Scotland Memorial Hospital where he died.
The junior had an up-to-date physical and was cleared to participate in the wrestling program’s off-season conditioning session, according to schools spokesman Andy Cagle. A trainer was also on-hand during the session, Cagle said.
“We ensure the safety of all of our student athletes, and all proper procedures were in place,” Cagle said. “This is a terrible tragedy, and any time you lose a student it’s bad for both the school and the community.”
Scotland senior Aatianna Williams remembers Hall fondly, having sparked a friendship with him during their time in junior high at Spring Hill Middle School. That friendship would continue when Hall returned to Laurinburg from St.Pauls.
“I remember being around all of my friends when we were younger, and he was always dancing, singing and making everyone laugh,” Williams said. “I’ve seen him every day since he came back to Scotland, and he would always stop me in the halls to ask how I was doing. With him gone, it just shows me that you should let everyone that’s important in your life know how much you appreciate them, because you never know when God will take them away.”
The mood was somber at Scotland High on Tuesday. All off-season workouts planned this week for wrestlers have been cancelled.
According to Cagle, six additional counselors are on campus this week to help students deal with the tragedy.
Wrestling teammate Stephon Graham said Hall always gave his all and encouraged others to do the same.
“If I finished last in a running drill, Tavarius would tell me that I could do better if I put the effort in, and that always helped me feel better,” Graham said. “He was the guy who gave more than 100 percent effort from what I saw, and even encouraged the older kids to step up their effort too. I couldn’t believe it when I heard he had died.”
Scotland middleweight wrestler Clifton Taylor had spoken to Hall during lunch Monday afternoon shortly before workouts began.
“We had a conversation in the lunch room about practice and getting ready for the upcoming season that same day,” Taylor said. “It was one of only a couple times we spoke, but Tavarius seemed like an outgoing and truly good person.”
Reach Laurinburg Exchange sports editor Jason Chisari at 910-276-2311 or at email@example.com