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Days after the tragic death of 12-year-old Caleb Williams, those close to him say even as a young boy he was an inspiration.
Caleb died Friday night in the Little Sahara sand dunes when the sand cave he was digging collapsed on top of him.
Those close to Caleb said he excelled at everything he put his mind to. He was an all-star wrestler with multiple championship titles, but more than that, friends say he made a positive impact on everyone around him. Craig LaMont, Caleb's wrestling coach and close family friend, said, "He just had that effect on everybody that he's around. They all wanted to be just like Caleb."
LaMont said Caleb's abilities were amazing. Home video showed Caleb dominating the competition to claim a national title in Greco-Roman wrestling. "He was just talented in anything that he wanted to do," LaMont said.
LaMont said not only was Caleb gifted as a wrestler, but he was a straight-A student who went out of his way to help others. LaMont described Caleb as intelligent and sharp. "He was the type of boy that any parent would just dream about their son being," he said.
Caleb was camping with a Boy Scout troop in the Little Sahara Recreation Area Friday evening. Authorities said just after dinner, he was digging a cave into the sand dunes with friends when it collapsed on top of him. Rescuers found his body almost 45 minutes later. LaMont said, "Devastation is an understatement for what they're going through right now."
Even at age 12, Caleb was a well-known wrestler, holding 32 national championships, 17 state championships and 42 all-American finishes.
Caleb had just started the seventh grade at Mapleton Jr. High.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday Sept. 27 at the Wellington LDS Stake Center on 935 East Main. Services will begin at noon. A viewing will be held on Friday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon.