Posted: Jul 23, 2011 7:05 PM by John Romero
Updated: Jul 23, 2011 7:46 PM
Just a day after the news of 18 year old Jake Clifton's drowning death, his baseball coaches look out over the field he took so many times, still shaken by the news. "You can't say enough about the type of kid he was." says Jake's coach Terry Montoya.
On Friday, the athletic 18 year old was swimming with friends in the Pueblo Reservoir when he drowned. Investigators still aren't sure exactly how it happened. Friends tell investigators they swam out of the channel together when Clifton began lagging behind. Moments later he called out to them before he disappeared under water.
Saturday his coaches remember a young man loved by all. "He's your All-American boy." says Montoya. "He was a great kid with a great attitude. He was very friendly and very outgoing." adds his All-Star coach Drew Hirchon.
The recent Pueblo County High School grad and baseball star was a favorite of both coaches and teammates alike. "He was a great team guy. Especially in the dugout he'd always keep everyone up and everyone smiling." says Hirchon. His work ethic was legendary. "I'll take 15 Jake Clifton's any day." says Montoya, "He's the type of kid that you want your kids to grow up like. His work ethic was great. He was one of the hardest working kids I've ever worked with."
Jake was set to move on to college ball after the summer. He wrote about his excitement on his Facebook page. It stands as a sad reminder of a young life taken far too soon. "You just can't believe things like that... So young like that." says Hirchon, "It's hard to take in."