A Florida high school football player’s bright shining star has unfortunately dimmed.
After becoming a much sought after recruit, the young man’s bright future would never come to pass following his untimely death and now investigators have ruled his death a suicide.
Bryce Gowdy, 17, died on Monday in his hometown of Deerfield, Fla., after being hit by a freight train. According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, authorities arrived on the scene shortly after 4 a.m. and transported the teen to the hospital where he later died.
Gowdy had been a standout on the Deerfield Beach High School football team. As a star player, he helped lead his school in 30 wins over the last three seasons. AJC reported that he had received over 30 scholarship offers, including from Penn State, Syracuse, and Oregon, but in July, he chose to commit to Georgia Tech becoming one of the college’s top recruits.
Gowdy’s death came just one week before he was to officially join the team as he had finished high school one semester early, according to CNN.
The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported that the night before Gowdy’s death, he had asked his mother, Shibbon Winelle, probing questions about life and whether his family would be OK in his absence.
“He kept talking about the signs and the symbols that he was seeing all over the place,” Winelle said in a Facebook video. “About how he could see the world for what it really was. He kept saying that he could see people for what they really are.”
Though Winelle was concerned about her son’s behavior, she said he had also been talking about positive things.
Georgia Tech’s football coach Geoff Collins released a statement expressing his condolences to Gowdy’s family and friends.
“Our entire Georgia Tech football family is devastated by the news of Bryce’s passing,” Collins said in the statement. “Bryce was an outstanding young man with a bright future. He was a great friend to many, including many of our current and incoming team members. On behalf of our coaches, players, staff, and families, we offer our deepest condolences to Bryce’s mother, Shibbon, and his brothers, Brisai and Brayden, as well as the rest of his family members, his teammates and coaches at Deerfield Beach High School, and his many friends. Bryce and his family will always be a part of the Georgia Tech football family.”
A study released in October by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that Black teens have increasingly been attempting suicide. Between the years 1991-2017, the study concluded that the suicide rate for black youths grew even as the rate of suicide attempts by teens in other racial and ethnic groups fell.