COLUMBIA, S.C. — A volunteer assistant football coach for Spring Valley High School has died from complications from COVID-19, according to people who knew him.
Charles Peterson, 46, died Sunday night, according to family and friends. The St. Louis Cardinals, the organization he worked for as a scout, said he'd been in the hospital since August 17.
Peterson was a two-sport standout at Laurens High School in South Carolina, leading his team to a state title in football in 1991. He was drafted by the Pittsburg Pirates in 1993 as a first-round pick out of high school and reached Triple-A in his five years in the Pittsburgh system. He played more than eight years of independent ball as well as professionally in Canada, Mexico and Taiwan.
The head football coach of Spring Valley, Robin Bacon, took to Twitter to pay tribute to Peterson.
"There are good coaches and then there are good men!," said Bacon. "Peterson was both. God put him on this earth to help young people and he did more in his life to help others and spread joy. He is the definition of servant leadership!"
Peterson's son, who plays football for Spring Valley, also talked about the loss of his father.
"I can’t put into words how much my father meant to me and every one he loved," said Trey Peterson. "To anyone who reads this. Please prayer for his safe passage into heaven and remember him as the man he was and always will be."
The Vikings' offensive coordinator, Coach Dan Morgan, also remembered his friend.
"This breaks my heart," he said. "My thoughts & prayers go out to (Trey) and the Peterson family. [The Spring Valley Family] and our football team are hurting. CP was a great man, husband, father, and an incredible asset to our community. I will miss you and hope to see you again."
Peterson also worked as amateur scout for the St. Louis Cardinals. The ballclub said he was hired by the team in 2012, and was the signing scout for the team's 2020 first round. pick Jordan Walker. "Our thoughts and condolences are with Charles’ family and friends," the Cardinals said.
This is the second death of a person who worked in Richland School District Two from COVID-19 in the last week. Demetria Bannister, a 28-year-old third grade teacher at Windsor Elementary, passed away on September 7 from complications from the virus.