Sometimes I come across talented high school athletes that carry themselves with the entitled attitude they mimic from watching pro athletes on television.
And then I come across a kid like Todd Doxey, and my faith is renewed that kids from San Diego’s toughest neighborhoods can resist the negative images they see on television and advertising, or hear in harmful hip-hop songs.
Doxey was not only a great athlete at Hoover High that earned a football scholarship to the University of Oregon, he was the kind of kid Hoover teachers and coaches could point to as a role model in the hallways or the neighborhood.
But now all Hoover teachers and coaches have is Doxey’s inspiring memory they can tell stories about to future students.
Doxey, 19, died in an accidental drowning Sunday when he joined several teammates for an outing on the McKenzie River in Oregon.
According to a Lane County Sheriff’s report, most of the Oregon players were floating ahead in inner-tubes when Doxey jumped from a bridge.
Doxey began having trouble with the current, but no one was close enough to help him in time out of the water.
“Anytime a young man or woman dies, it is a tragedy,” Oregon head coach Mike Belloti said in a statement posted on the University of Oregon athletics department website. “It’s hard to understand why. My heart goes out to his family, to our players — some of whom were there and some who will find out about it. It‘s just one of those things we don’t have answers for.”
Doxey was one of San Diego’s top multi-sport athletes in the 2006-07 season school year, playing wide receiver and defensive back in football and guard/forward in basketball. He was one of the West Coast’s top recruits when he committed to Oregon.
He was a red shirt his first year on campus, but Oregon coaches were high on his future. Four weeks during the season he was named the Ducks’ Scout Team Player of the Week.
Hoover basketball coach Ollie Goulston said Hoover students are organizing a memorial at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Hoover High. The students are seeking donations since the family didn’t have insurance to cover funeral costs.