RIDGEVILLE, S.C. (WCBD) – There were lots of heavy hearts on South Railroad Avenue in Ridgeville Sunday evening as hundreds gathered to commemorate the life and legacy of Lavel Davis Jr.

“Lavel had natural leadership ability from the time he was small,” Davis’s high school football coach said. “People naturally gravitated toward him and were drawn toward him.”

The Ridgeville community is remembering one of their own gone too soon.

“Everyone loved Lavel,” Selena Clark, a close friend of Davis, said. “He never had a bad bone in his body. I’m sure everybody here could say anything good about him and everything like that. Definitely one of the faces of Ridgeville; everybody knew him.”

Davis’s peers describe the former Woodland High School Football standout as a caring, inspirational person with a bright future.

“It’s definitely heartbreaking,” Trenton Bennett, who grew up with Davis, said, “especially growing up with someone very closely. All through elementary school, middle school and high school, it definitely hurts, especially here in the Ridgeville community. Losing a hero, a mentor to so many, it definitely hurts.”

Many are still trying to wrap their heads around what transpired in Charlottesville, Virginia last Sunday night.

“I want to say, ‘I love you.’ Like I always told you,” Davis’s youth football coach said.

Community members say they’ll miss everything about Davis.

“His jokes,” a close friend said, “him clowning on us, him laughing, him being the tallest person in school, him just being loud.”

But his impact on the Ridgeville community will live on forever.

“If you are not living a life where people can say the things about you that you hear people talking about Lavel,” his high school football coach said, “you need to look at what you’re doing, and you need to change your life.”