LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) – A prayer vigil is set to take place Monday morning at Hazen High School to remember the life of a 17-year-old football player.
City officials say Drake Jones was playing on an icy pond with three other friends when he fell in and drowned around 3 p.m. on Saturday.
"It’s gut-wrenching," said Hazen Police Chief Bradley Taylor.
The principal at Hazen High described Jones as an exceptional young man who will be severely missed.
His friends tried to save him, but couldn't.
"As a father," Taylor said, "I've been doing this for 20 years, and I think I would absolutely lose my mind. And I did Saturday."
Jones spent a lot of time on the football field here at Hazen. The junior was a wide receiver and defensive back. He was also a very good left-handed pitcher on the baseball team.
"There are no words that you can speak that are going to make that better," said Hazen Pastor Scott Skarda. "It’s just going to take the grace of God and time to bring some sort of healing in their lives."
Chief Taylor sat down with some of Jones' teammates and laughed about the good times.
"And I tell the kids that's what you have to remember," he said. "That's what will get you through these things is remember the good times. Be glad the Lord gave you 17 years with him."
Counselors will be available to speak with students at the school.
The funeral for Drake Jones is set for Wednesday, January 10, at 2 p.m. at Calvary Missionary Baptist Church in Hazen. A visitation is set for Tuesday, January 9, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Hazen High School gymnasium.
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