One year after tragedy struck, the fields at South Brunswick High School are empty, but the memory of James Prince still fills Jack Campbell Stadium.
The 17-year-old drowned near the Oak Island Pier just four days before he was scheduled to graduate from high school.
One year later, the Cougar community has not forgotten.
A large tribute that reads "In Memory of James Prince" is painted on the scoreboard at the football field and a brick carved in his honor lies at the entrance to the stadium.
On Wednesday, community members took to social media today – spreading memories and remembering their fallen friend who was an active member of the football and basketball team at South Brunswick High School.
The school's athletic director, Chris Roehner says he got choked up at the school's awards banquet last week. He recalled the time when Prince spoke kindly of him in front of the whole school.
"Being the athletic director, I'm more behind the scenes. I don't get to know the kids. They don't get to know me," said Roehner. "But yet, I consider every one of our athletes and every one of our coaches, anyone who's in the athletic program to be part of my family. So to lose James or any athlete or any coach is losing a part of my family as far as I'm concerned."
He says the athletic community is trying to move on but it's still very difficult.
"It's still very emotional for the kids and the seniors we have now, and the juniors we have now, and even among the coaches. We don't talk about it a lot. We all get very emotional. But it's something that we'll never forget."
Prince drowned on June 11, 2013 while swimming near the Oak Island Pier. He was one of four drowning victims in Brunswick County last year.
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