David Thompson, 22, graduate of St. Paul's lacrosse player

January 31, 1996

Jim Stagnitta described David Thompson as "the most resilient player" he's ever seen in his seven years as coach of the men's lacrosse team at Washington & Lee University in Lexington, Va.

"David was the kid who got knocked down the most, but he was also the one who got up the quickest," Mr. Stagnitta said.

"He just had this ability to continually bounce back."

It is those qualities that have made it hard for the coach and others to accept the death of Mr. Thompson, 22, who died of injuries suffered early Sunday when he lost control of his car on a curve and crashed into a fallen tree, Virginia State Police said.

Mr. Thompson, a three-year letterman in college and a 1992 graduate of St. Paul's School, was taken by the Lexington Rescue Squad to Stonewall Jackson Hospital and later was flown to Roanoke [Va.] Memorial Hospital, where he died at 6:14 a.m.

Mitch Whiteley, who coached Mr. Thompson in lacrosse at St. Paul's in Brooklandville, remembered him as the "heart and soul" of the Crusaders' 1992 team that went 17-0 and won its second straight Maryland Scholastic Association championship.

"He wasn't a star for us, but he contributed every way he could," Mr. Whiteley said.

"He was a real competitor, the kind of kid who would push other people. He did whatever you asked of him. "

"Everyone is just feeling empty right now," said Russell Croft, a teammate at both St. Paul's and Washington & Lee.

"He was the nicest person I ever met in my life. He never said anything bad about anyone. Everyone who knew him loved him."

Mr. Thompson, an honor student majoring in history, was a member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity and last fall received the Washington & Lee scholar/athlete award for his 3.5 grade point average.

"The guys here loved and respected him. We all learned something from David. He was a good friend to a lot of people," Mr. Stagnitta said.

"He was a good person who always tried very hard at what he did. He was a very good friend to a lot of people," said his father, David C. Thompson Sr. of Hunt Valley.

Services will be held at 1 p.m. Friday at Old St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Saratoga and Charles streets.

Other survivors include his mother, Elizabeth Englar Potter Thompson; a brother, James S. Thompson of Hunt Valley; his maternal grandmother, Elizabeth Englar Potter Geare of Gibson Island; two uncles, James L. Potter of Butler and Carson J. Thompson of Scranton, Pa.; and an aunt, Anne S. Potter of Annapolis.

Memorial donations may be Zend.leg made to St. Paul's School, MBM2, Brooklandville 21022.

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