Central football player drowns in John Day River

Central football player drowns in John Day River

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Central football player drowns in John Day River

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The body of Cody Watson, a 16-year-old student at Central High School, was recovered by the Wheeler County Sheriff’s Office on Monday morning from the John Day River.

Cody Watson

Cody Watson

The sheriff’s office reported that officers were called to the river eight miles west of Spray at noon Sunday after it was reported that Watson had disappeared beneath the surface while swimming with friends.

“He was there with a family friend and was just there for the weekend,” Central football coach Shane Hedrick said. “He went over Friday and was coming back (Sunday) night. They were on the tail end of the water excursion.”

Multiple police and rescue agencies searched for his body for two hours Sunday, but couldn’t locate him. The search resumed Monday morning and his body was recovered before 10 a.m.

Watson, who lived in Monmouth, played basketball and football at Central and carried a grade-point average of over 3.0.

“He was going to be fighting for a starting position this fall,” Hedrick said.

Watson is survived by two parents, three brothers and a sister.

A gofundme page has been set up at https://www.gofundme.com/2bk4y2k to help pay for transport of his body home and for funeral costs.

There will be a vigil at Panther Stadium at 9 p.m. Tuesday. A celebration of life will be held at Panther Stadium at 7 p.m. Friday.

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Central football player drowns in John Day River
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