GRAND LEDGE, Mich. – A medical examiner is reviewing the death of a Grand Ledge student who died Monday during a football workout in the high school’s weight room, school officials said today.
School officials say they don’t know why Everson Guild, 14, an incoming freshman, lost consciousness Monday during a “routine football workout.”
The incident occurred about 8:42 a.m. in the weight room at Grand Ledge High School. Football coach Matt Bird said Everson was one of about 28 or 29 incoming high school freshmen there at about 8:30 a.m. that morning.
Bird said Everson had just finished a lift when other students notified coaches something was wrong.
Bird said coaches and staff immediately began CPR and used an automatic external defibrillator, and continued until emergency personnel arrived four minutes later. Everson was taken to Sparrow Hospital, where Brian Metcalf, the school superintendent, said medical personal worked on him “valiantly.”
Bird said prior to the incident, Everson seemed fine and showed no concerning symptoms. His medical card on file with the district listed no pre-existing conditions, he said. He had been working out with other incoming freshmen football players since mid-June without difficulty, he said.
“He was having a great day,” Bird said. “He was having his best day.”
Grand Ledge Police Chief Martin Underhill said Tuesday police have no reason to believe Everson’s death was suspicious. He said the department is not investigating.
In a statement read by Bird to the press, Everson’s mother Laura Guild thanked the community for their support after his death.
“In honor of Everson, the family is requesting the community remember what Everson is about: love, compassion, caring, gratefulness, determination and generosity. We ask that each person try to exemplify one of these traits, in hopes of making the world a better place, as this is what Everson did on a daily basis.”
Everson’s uncle, Chad Guild, is a member of the high school football coaching staff. The Guild family has two other children in the district, one younger and one older than Everson.
Bird said Everson participated in the track, wrestling and band programs through the school district and was part of the youth football program, which serves kids through eighth grade.
Bird said Everson’s medical card on file in the school didn’t list any medical issues of concern.
Cast and crew for WKAR’s “Curious Crew” said their hearts were “broken” to learn about Everson’s death. He was a cast member on the locally-produced television show.
“Our hearts are broken here at WKAR to learn today of the passing of Everson Guild, student, athlete and science explorer in our community,” read a post Monday evening on WKAR’s Facebook page. “We came to know and cherish him as a cast member of the TV show, Curious Crew. We will miss his humor and enthusiasm. To family and friends of Everson, we send our condolences.”
Julie Sochay, WKAR”s community engagement manager, said Everson appeared on two seasons of the show, including the one still in production.
“He was very fun, full of joy and an excellent role model for the other students on the cast,” Sochay said Tuesday morning. “His enthusiasm for science and his desire to learn more about it definitely made him one of our top students.”
Tuesday morning Metcalf said Everson excelled academically and socially. He was on hand at the high school while counseling was being made available to students and staff. He said about 30 students were at counseling Tuesday morning at 8 a.m., and the district will provide counseling to students as long as it is needed.
Tom Driver, a captain with the Grand Ledge Area Fire Department, declined to release any additional information Monday evening about Guild’s death Monday afternoon. A person who answered the phone at the Grand Ledge Police Department Monday evening said all inquires are being referred to school officials and declined further comment.