July 13, 2009
Cullowhee, N.C. -
Former Western Carolina junior defensive back Ja'Quayvin Smalls, who died suddenly following a voluntary off-season workout last week, was laid to rest on Monday afternoon (July 13) in his hometown of Mount Pleasant, S.C.
Approximately 45 current WCU football student-athletes and five members of the coaching staff, including head coach Dennis Wagner, made the trip to the South Carolina Lowcountry to attend the noon funeral services for Smalls.
Smalls collapsed during his first voluntary workout session last Wednesday (July 8) evening and passed away at the Harris Regional Hospital in Sylva, just two days after reporting to the second session of summer school.
As is customary with the passing of any currently enrolled student, the Western Carolina University flag at the main entrance to the university campus was flown at half staff on Monday in remembrance of Smalls.
For the upcoming 2009 football season, the Western Carolina team plans to wear "JS" decals on the back of every helmet in memory of Smalls. His locker inside the Dale and Dianne Hollifield Locker Room in the Ramsey Center will not be reassigned and will be memorialized to include his helmet, uniform and any additional game-day equipment.
In addition, there also will be a one-year moratorium on the use of the No. 3 jersey that would have been worn by Smalls.