Dammion Heard, who just completed his freshman season as 125-pound starter at Western State Colorado University, was found dead Wednesday in Colorado. He was 20.
Prior to coming to Western State, Heard was a 2013 Texas state champ at 113 pounds for Fossil Ridge High School near Fort Worth.
Heard had been last seen on campus Saturday. His body was found on Bureau of Land Management property about 8 miles east of Gunnison, home to Western State, about 200 miles southwest of Denver. His car, a black 2004 Saturn Vue, was found nearby, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
“We, the Mountaineer wrestling family, are devastated by the loss of Dammion and will miss him dearly,” said Western State head wrestling coach Miles Van Hee. “His big personality touched everyone on the team and on campus. He made a big impact on our wrestling team, fans, family and friends that will last forever. Our thoughts and prayers are with Dammion’s family. He will forever ‘Be Heard.’ Thanks Dammion.”
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of Dammion,” said Greg Waggoner, Western State Athletics Director. “He was a valuable member of the Mountaineer Family and we all extend our thoughts and prayers to the Heard family as they absorb the grief of this tragedy. As we process through some of life’s challenges that are difficult, it is important that this draws us closer as a family, especially as we support Coach Van Hee and the wrestling team through this trying time.”
In a statement issued Wednesday afternoon, Western State interim President Brad Baca said: “Dammion was a vibrant and beloved member of the campus community, a great student and an accomplished athlete. Our hearts and thoughts are with his family and friends.”
Police have “assured the university that the circumstances surrounding Dammion’s death do not pose a danger to the campus community,” Baca said.
According to the Western State wrestling website, Heard was the starting 125-pounder at the NCAA Division II program. As a true freshman, Heard compiled a 10-12 record with three falls this past season.
His high school wrestling coach Tony Lopez painted a portrait of a dedicated wrestler who worked out with his father Gary.
“He just kept plugging away and coming back and eventually won state his senior year,” Lopez said. “He understood wrestling. He had his goals set and he knew what he had to do.
“He was just a great kid.”
No information on funeral services is available at this time.
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