The body of a star North Carolina quarterback was found off the coast in North Topsail Beach, N.C.
Authorities told North Carolina CBS affiliate WNCT that Shak Pershey, 19, went missing while swimming with friends around 7 p.m. on Thursday night and emergency crews received a call about a possible drowning.
The Coast Guard and a Marine helicopter aided in the search, but rough waters led them to end their efforts after two hours. Police wound up finding Pershey’s body early Friday morning off North Topsail Beach.
Witnesses said Pershey went under the water about 100 yards from the shore and wasn’t seen again.
“I believe the young man may have been caught in some sort of cross current that may have pulled him down,” Stuart Turille, town manager of North Topsail Beach, told WNCT.
Pershey, who led Southwest Onslow High School to a 1AA state title in December after throwing for 1,149 yards and 13 TDs and running for 929 yards and 18 scores, would have graduated on June 11. He was to attend Chowan University in Murfreesboro, N.C.
“Great kid, that is the main thing to say, he was a leader in the school. He will be missed by the students, coaches, faculty, and everyone that knew him,” Southwest Oslow coach Phil Padgett said to ABC affiliate WCTI. “[He] led us to a state championship because of his leadership. He will always be remembered as a quality kid who had a smile on his face and love for everyone. [He was] one of a kind.”