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19-year-old App State Student Dies from COVID-19

By Harley Nefe

Appalachian State University sophomore exercise science major Chad Dorrill died Monday night, Sept. 28, of COVID-19 complications.

Dorrill was a 19-year-old basketball player and graduate of Ledford High School in Thomasville.

“This awful disease has taken this young man from everyone far too soon,” read a statement from the Piedmont Pacers, a travel basketball team based in Kernersville, in which Dorrill was an original member of. “We first met him in 2013 after he and his family moved to North Carolina from Wisconsin. We quickly realized what a talented basketball player he was.”

The statement that was officially released on the club’s Facebook page further said that Dorrill was a fierce competitor on the basketball court and helped the Pacers win many games. Dorrill finished as the Pacers’ all-time leading scorer and was a member of the 2018 USSSA National Championship team. 

“Most importantly, Chad was beloved by all of his teammates and coaches and possessed all of the qualities that any parent would love to see in their child,” the statement read. “His parents, Robert and Susan, were a constant presence at Pacers games and their kindness and support helped to create a family-like atmosphere. Our hearts got out to them and we cannot imagine the pain they are going through right now.”

Susan, Dorrill’s mother, asked that everyone share the following according to the statement from the Piedmont Pacers:

“As our family suffers this incredible loss, we want to remind people to wear a mask and quarantine if you test positive even without symptoms. You have no idea who you can come in contact with that the virus affects differently. Chad was just incredibly tired for two weeks and little did we know it was secretly attacking his body in a way they have never seen before. The doctors said that Chad is the rarest 1-10,000,000 case but if it can happen to a super healthy 19-year-old boy who doesn’t smoke, vape, or do drugs, it can happen to anyone.” 

Davidson County Schools Superintendent Emily Lipe issued the following statement:

“Chad Dorrill was a loved and well-respected member of the Ledford community and the Class of 2019. He was an All-Conference basketball player during his years at LHS, who was both competitive and kind. He was enrolled at Appalachian State University in hopes of becoming a physical therapist. Our deepest and most heartfelt sympathy is extended to Chad’s family, friends, and the entire Ledford community.”

This story will be updated as further information is available.