ORANGE, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- The Orange County football team already had an overnight camp scheduled at the high school for this week. So the Hornets were already together when the news broke Tuesday night that their former teammate, Darius Minor, had collapsed and died during a preseason workout at Maine.
"We're all kind of hurting right now, as you may understand," Orange County head coach Jesse Lohr said Wednesday afternoon as players were heading home from the camp. "It's hard to put to words. It's been a tough, tough 12 hours here."
Lohr was Minor's head coach at Orange County the past three seasons. He watched Minor come back from a knee injury that cost him his junior year to earn first-team All-Jefferson District on both sides of the football as a senior last fall, and lead the district with 57 catches for 763 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Lohr also saw the impact Minor had off the football field.
"A young man that was well-liked by his peers and by the community. A kid who's an exceptional athlete. 'Yes sir, no sir.' Did some good things in the community with peer mentoring and with youth," Lohr said. "A kid that just always seems to be in the middle of greatness."
Minor was set to play defensive back and major in political science at Maine. He reported to school earlier this month to begin summer classes and freshman workouts.
Minor was about 15 minutes into one of those workouts on Tuesday when, according to Maine head coach Joe Harasymiak, Minor told strength coach Jon Lynch that he felt like he might pass out. Minor collapsed almost immediately, and trainers and first responders were unable to resuscitate him.
While classmates paid tribute to Minor on Wednesday -- placing flowers and a pair of football cleats on campus -- Harasymiak got choked up while talking about the loss.
"A quieter kid. A little reserved. But he had one of the best smiles, probably, in that freshman class," Harasymiak said. "Just wanted to do his best, and this was a dream for him. This is where he wanted to be."
When Minor signed with the Black Bears in February, the ceremony drew a crowd of excited classmates to the lobby of the field house at Orange County High School.
Wednesday was a significantly more difficult day in that same field house.
"I just feel for his family, feel for this community, feel for his network of friends," Lohr said. "He was a family member. Almost like a son to me. And we loved him."