October 6, 2012

Student dies from injuries in fall at Bates

Bates dedicates its football season to Troy Pappas of Eliot, a freshman team member who died Friday.

By Edward D. Murphy emurphy@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

Bates College paid tribute Saturday to a freshman who died last week after suffering serious injuries in a fall down a dormitory stairwell.

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Troy Pappas, a former Marshwood athlete who played in the Lobster Bowl last July, died Friday night after being severely injured in a fall down a stairwell at the school last weekend.

Troy Pappas, 18, of Eliot, died Friday afternoon, nearly a week after the Sept. 29 fall down the stairwell in Parker Hall. Lewiston police are investigating the incident. Although they have said they don't consider it suspicious, police said they are trying to determine exactly what happened because of the extent of Pappas's injuries.

Police have said they believe Pappas was sliding down a banister in the stairwell and fell from the third floor to the first, suffering a fractured skull.

On Saturday, the school marked his death with a moment of silence before the football game against Williams College. Pappas was a receiver on the team.

Head football Coach Mark Harriman said the team is dedicating its season to Pappas and will have his No. 8 jersey at all practices and games.

The football team was led onto the field Saturday by three of Pappas's uncles, and other family members attended the game as well, said Roland Adams, a school spokesman.

Team members and coaches touched Pappas's jersey, held by one of the team captains, as they took the field for the game, which Bates won, 33-6. Players also wore a decal on their helmets with Pappas's number and his initials, T.P.

Harriman said Saturday that he had been impressed by Pappas since he began scouting him for the football team at a summer camp before Pappas's senior year at Marshwood High School, where he was also an honors student.

"He was a tremendous young man, very energetic, always working hard and he was a very good student," Harriman said.

Bates, a Division III school, doesn't provide athletic scholarships, but Harriman said he recruited Pappas to attend Bates and come out for the team. He was switched from quarterback, the position he played in high school, to receiver, and had yet to get into a varsity game when the accident occurred, Harriman said.

Adams said Pappas was taking courses in mathematics, chemistry and physics, reflecting his interest in medical studies. He was also taking a freshman seminar, "Anatomy of a Few Small Machines," which Adams said explores the idea that technology is an extension of people's hands and minds.

The day after Pappas fell, Bates held an informal gathering in the lounge at Page Hall, the dormitory Pappas was living in, Adams said. Harriman said the football team also held a meeting that day to discuss Pappas's injuries and condition.

Students, faculty and staff also visited the Pappas family at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston during the week, Adams said. Visitors weren't permitted in Pappas's room at the hospital, he said.

After Saturday's game, there was another campus gathering to remember Pappas, Adams said, attended by about 250 people. He said a formal memorial service for Pappas will be held on campus at a date to be announced.

Attempts to contact Pappas's family were unsuccessful.

Staff Writer Edward D. Murphy can be contacted at 791-6465 or at:

emurphy@pressherald.com

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