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The split-second decision by an Averett University football player that saved a man's life

DANVILLE, Va. – While warming up on the sidelines, an Averett University football player made a split-second decision that saved the life of a stranger.

Possibly due to the nature of his position, freshman kicker Will Caviness is always preparing to step up when his team is in a tight spot.

It's a quality he possibly inherited.

Caviness was named for his late uncle, a Greensboro Fire Department captain who lived to serve others. Those instincts kicked in when he least expected it. 

During a game against Greensboro College, played at his high school alma mater's field, Caviness noticed panic in the crowd.

"I just saw a big crowd of people waving their arms, trying to get somebody's attention," said Caviness. 

He then heard screams for a paramedic.

"I knew something wasn't right. My first thought was to get my dad," said Caviness. 

He would later find out that an elderly man had collapsed while watching his grandson play baseball on the next field over.

"I immediately looked to my mom and told her to get my dad because I knew he would be the quickest one there to get here," said Caviness. 

Like his late uncle, his dad, Sean, is also a Greensboro firefighter trained in CPR.

Although he was off duty that day, he was able to get there in the knick of time.

"He ended up bringing him back to life," said Caviness. "I'm just glad to see that he's OK."

Coincidentally, this happened near the anniversary of the death of his uncle and his namesake, who dedicated his life to saving others.

"How close his passing was to the game ... it just kind of a heart-warming moment," said Caviness. 

It was emotional for the Caviness family but also healing.

"It just brought everything full circle," said Caviness. "It felt well. It felt good."


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