Senior wide receiver for Deerfield Beach, Bryce Gowdy, passed away less than two weeks after signing with Georgia Tech.
“It’s heartbreaking. Everybody that has ever met him or ever touched him is in shock. Can’t believe it,” stated Deerfield Beach coach Jevon Glenn to the Miami Herald.
According to Glenn, he was at an Under Armour All-American Game practice when Gowdy’s mother called to tell the coach her son had died.
“His mom told me this morning that he stepped in front of a train.”
A press release from Broward County Sheriff’s Office stated that Gowdy, 17, was hit by a freight train at 4:06 a.m. in the area of Southeast Fourth Avenue and Southeast 10th Street in Deerfield Beach.
Gowdy was taken to Broward Health North and pronounced dead, according to the press release.
Glenn said his last conversation with Gowdy was about how he was going to be in town to see Gowdy off to Georgia Tech later this week.
On Sunday, Gowdy posted his last tweet. He posted a photograph with a caption that read, “Family matters, can’t wait to get to the ATL soon!”
The Deerfield Beach coach plans to have a team meeting with counselors present for the players. Glenn said the team is a tight knit group. The coach said initially he broke down and cried when he heard the news from Gowdy’s mother.
“He was a great player that kind of truly exemplified of what our definition was for a kid to be a Beach Boy, who grew up in our program. Great student, top in his class… one of the top players in the country.”
A consensus 4-star recruit, Gowdy went by the nickname, “Simba.” He had 12 catches for 97 yards in 12 games as a senior.
Glenn stated: “He was a great kid. The hardest working and most caring people. He really cared about others’ success, team success more so than his. …All-around great kid.”
Gowdy hung around the program as an eighth grader, and Glenn was close with him. Over the past three years, he played varsity football for the Bucks after playing junior varsity as a Freshman.
The football player stood 6 feet, 2 inches tall and weighed in at 190 pounds. Gowdy was rated the 54th best receiver in the 247 Sports’ Composite rankings.
He was competitive, that is what made him so good, according to Glenn.
“He has an elite competitive nature about him. He just wanted it so bad.”
The coach stated that Gowdy was struggling with some things, but he had hoped it was all behind him.
“I feel like maybe I kind of let my guard down. I thought he had gotten through the worst part, and that’s something that really tears away at my heart.”
According to a 2019 study, Florida is sixth among states for the greatest number of railroad crossing incidents between 2014 and 2018. In Florida, there were 462 railroad crossing accidents: 16 percent resulted in fatality and 25 percent resulted in injury.
The fatality is under investigation by the Broward Sheriff’s Office homicide detectives and the Broward County medical examiner’s office. Before Gowdy was identified, a representative of Florida East Coast Railway told WPLG-TV Miami that “the pedestrian jumped in front of the train.”
Georgia Tech football coach Geoff Collin released a statement concerning the passing of Gowdy.
“Our entire Georgia Tech football family is devastated by the news of Bryce’s passing. Bryce was an outstanding young man with a very 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.”
By Jeanette Vietti
Miami Herald: Deerfield Beach star Bryce Gowdy dies just weeks after signing with Georgia Tech
AJC: Georgia Tech signee Bryce Gowdy dies after being struck by train
WSB-TV Atlanta: Georgia Tech signee Bryce Gowdy dies days before enrolling
Image Courtesy of Wally Gobetz’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License