By Thomas Grant Jr.
A memorial service is planned Thursday evening at Cecil Woolbright Field for a Chapin High School student-athlete who passed away at his home.
The “Celebration of Life” in honor of Fabian Douglas “Tre” Ruff III, 17, will take place at 7:30 p.m. The public is invited to attend to pay their respects for who event organizers described as a “bright light in all of our lives.”
The Newberry County Coroner’s Office confirmed Ruff had died at his Little Mountain home Tuesday morning. The office declined to release further details as it, the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office, and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division Child Fatality Unit are still investigating.
School principal Ed Davis notified the parents in a statement Wednesday.
“This morning, one of our Chapin High seniors became ill at home and passed away,” Davis said in the statement. “He was an outstanding young man who positively impacted his community as a son, brother, classmate, and friend.”
Ruff was a senior offensive guard/nose guard for the Eagles football team. Both the B-team and Junior Varsity teams canceled their games this week, while the varsity team is expected to play at home Friday against Mid-Carolina.
Chapin head football coach Justin Gentry sent out a statement Wednesday evening.
“The Ruff Family, Chapin football, Chapin High School, and the entire Chapin Community
was handed a huge blow Monday morning. The passing of Tre has been difficult to
comprehend, but the love, support, and prayers from around the state has been extremely
“Trey had the ability to light up the room the minute he walked in. He was such a mild-
mannered young man with a huge heart for everyone. Our whole school is mourning the
loss of him, but the impact he made in our lives leaves us all with smiles on our faces.
The Chapin community has wrapped their arms around Chapin High School and the Ruff
family and together, we will all get through this. It is our goal as a football team to never let our memories of Trey fade as we fight through and honor his legacy this season.”
Funeral services have not been announced at this time.