We have lost one of the best - Spot Valley principal
"One of our best is gone," said a saddened Angella Williams, principal of Spot Valley High School in St James, in her initial reaction to the unfortunate death of the school's Under-19 basketball player Saymar Ramsay, who died of a heart failure last Friday.
"The news of his sudden and most unexpected passing took me by utter surprise," Williams said.
"I knew him as a very humble student, who you could depend on to assist with any task. He was such a beautiful soul and I feel deep sorrow for his family, who will have to live without his presence," she told The Gleaner at a special devotion dedicated to his memory yesterday.
The 17-year-old was among his teammates aboard the school bus en route from an ISSA Western Conference U-19 Basketball Championship game against Cornwall College, when he suddenly fell ill, slumped in his seat, and became unresponsive.
Bus driver Lenworth Gayle said he drove directly to the nearby Hospiten medical facility at Rose Hall, where a team of doctors tried to revive him. News filtered out that he had died while undergoing treatment.
"We all were shocked; this could have been any one of us. But knowing it was this young man was truly heart-wrenching because he was such a quiet person. A real good youth has passed. May God bless his soul," said Gayle.
Meanwhile, tears flowed openly at the special remembrance service, as teachers and students tried their best to comfort each other.
Williams recounted Ramsay's daily routine. She said he walked to school and back home from the community of Palmyra, a number of miles away from the school, and yet he never complained.
"Instead, he took it in his stride, knowing that that was how it was with him. He was an able learner and his attitude was just about perfect," Williams said of his demeanour.
Holding back the tears, head of the school's sports department, Kennedy Maxwell, was full of praise for Ramsay, who she described as full of decency and manners.
His coach, Shelesha Hudson, could not hold back the tears. She broke down. With tears streaming down, she told The Gleaner that he was a disciplined player and that the loss will affect the school for several months.
"He was always at practice, even when others skipped out. That was how much he was dedicated to his task. He was always there. He spoke so softly. He will be missed, he will be missed," she reiterated softly.