Community mourns death of high school student athlete

WATERLOO, IL (KTVI) – Bad news travels fast in small towns.

The town of Waterloo has a little more than 10,000 residents; most of them have either read about or heard about 18-year-old David Woodall by now. Whether they knew him or not, his death came as a shock and has saddened this tight-knit community.

According to the Waterloo Police Department, Woodall apparently ended his own life in his home Wednesday night. When first responders arrived, a parent was performing CPR on the teen.

Counseling experts in Waterloo said patents should make an effort to listen and talk with their children if they're having trouble processing the loss.

Woodall, a senior at Waterloo High School, was a leader on the football team. Last weekend was senior night for the Waterloo Bulldogs. He got to walk the field with his parents at his side.

(Courtesy: Republic-Times)

David Woodall flanked by his parents at Waterloo's 'Senior Night' football game. (Courtesy: Republic-Times)

“I think it's hard because it's so unexpected,” said Robert Cole, executive director of Human Support Services. “A person who otherwise seems healthy and functioning all of a sudden takes their own life, I think it leaves others with a sense of, ‘did I miss something,’ ‘should I have behaved differently around them?’”

The school district released a statement, saying counselors would be on-hand to help students.

"The counselors will continue to be available as needed during this difficult time. Our hearts and prayers are with the student's family and friends."

A memorial visitation and funeral service is planned for Saturday.