Family, Friends Remember High School Standout

Bowie High football player, wrestler drowned while at sports camp

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says a 15-year-old Texas boy has drowned while swimming in Greer County.

    A 15-year-old Bowie High School student drowned Monday in an Oklahoma lake while attending a sports camp.

    Witnesses said Bryon Hill was about 15 feet offshore when he went under at the lake in Altus, Okla., but never came back up.

    Another swimmer pulled him to the surface, but emergency crews were unable to resuscitate the Grand Prairie native.

    "I felt like somebody had just taken all my oxygen away. I could not stand up," said Sabrina Thornton, Hill's aunt.

    Hill, a football player and wrestler, was well-known around campus for his athletic abilities and positive attitude.

    "I have never met a person who didn't like him," said Malik Wright, a sophomore at Bowie High School in Arlington.

    Wright, a classmate who had known Hill since elementary school, said he was his first friend when he moved to the area.

    "He was the one person i thought would never die," he said. "Just his personality -- he never tried to fit in with what everybody else was doing. He just always [was] himself."

    "He was always smiling, never mad," said Mathew Noboiga, who had also known Hill since elementary school.

    "He was just a really good friend," he said while fighting back tears.

    Thornton said her nephew was "an exceptional young man."

    "He had his life mapped out at age 15," she said. "He told you exactly what he was going to do."

    "The hardest part is that he was so young, and now his life is gone," Thornton said. "But coming from a Christian family, we know that he's OK."