CARROLLTON - Grief counselors were called to Newman Smith High School Monday to help students and staff cope with the death of a 16-year-old student.

Gerson Lagunez, 16, collapsed after playing Frisbee golf in a Carrollton park Friday. Family members said they believe a heart murmur may have played a role in his death.

Monday, Joe Pouncy, the school's principal, described Lagunez as a gifted student.

"Gerson was the type of kid that every principal just loves," he said. "I would like to have 2,000 more just like him."

Lagunez was a junior at the school and active in cross country running and the marching band.

"He was just a gifted individual all the way around," Pouncy said.

Word of the loss spread quickly among students on social media sites. Sunday evening, hundreds gathered for a vigil to remember the teen.

"I think everybody was just shocked because everybody knew him, have seen him around and then the next day he's gone," said Gabriel Mares, a fellow student, Monday.

Some who knew Lagunez said he touched a lot of people and served as a role model through the positive way he lived his life.

"He wasn't the kind of person who wanted notoriety or popularity or any of those kind of things," Pouncy said. "He was just being himself."


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