MUNCIE, Ind. — A 2010 Center Grove High School graduate, described as a dedicated athlete and loyal friend, died in a dorm room this weekend, apparently after partying late into the night while visiting Ball State University.
Jarrod Polston, 18, an Indiana University freshman from Greenwood, was visiting Ball State with friends who also graduated from Center Grove. Investigators think Polston passed out about 3 a.m. Saturday inside a room in Studebaker West after consuming alcohol and drugs
Delaware County Coroner Jim Clevenger said Polston vomited while unconscious, which blocked his airway, and said others in the room with Polston were unaware anything was wrong with him until they woke up later that morning.
An autopsy Sunday revealed alcohol and methadone in Polston’s system, officials said at a news conference.
Friends and coaches from Polston’s days at Center Grove said Polston was an upbeat teenager with great athletic skills and a knack for entertaining his friends.
Eric Moore, head football coach at Center Grove High School, coached Polston all through high school and had known him since elementary school.
“As a football player, he hustled,” Moore said. “He was very athletic and coachable. He loved the game of football. He was also really into the fashion of the game — he always had cool shoes and neat gloves. He had a lot of fun with that part of it as well.”
Jordan Cates, 18, met Polston in the seventh grade. They dated through middle school and remained close friends in high school. She also is now a freshman at IU.
“Every time I was with Jarrod we always had music on or we were watching movies or dancing or random stuff. Just having a good time,” Cates said in an e-mail.
Some of his high school friends were with Polston on Friday.
“There were kids in the room with him the whole time,” Clevenger said.
Polston was found unconscious by his friends about 10 a.m. Saturday.
Ball State University police attempted CPR until paramedics arrived, said Kay Bales, Ball State vice president for student affairs and dean of students. Polston was taken to Ball Memorial Hospital and was pronounced dead at 10:49 a.m..
University officials said they did not know whether Polston and the others were partying inside the dorm.
Bales said the university tries every year to educate students about the dangers of alcohol and drugs. IU makes a similar effort, said spokesman Larry MacIntyre.
Follow Star reporter Melanie D. Hayes on Twitter at twitter.com/MelanieDHayes. Call her at (317) 444-6048.