RAYTOWN, Mo. -- Kevin Page, the football coach of the Raytown teenager whose body was found in a local lake on Saturday, said learning the news of the young man's death has been tough.
Lee's Summit Police said Emmanual Palmer, 16, tried to swim across the cove at Lakeside Lake toward another friend, but went under the water and never surfaced.
Palmer was a multi-talented athlete. Page said he played football his freshman year, then took a year off to play soccer.
He said Palmer was planning to return to the grid iron next year, which would have been his junior year.
"He was all smiles. He had a very calm, easy going personality. That's going to be the difficult thing for us to replace. He was just a great teammate and a great kid," Page told FOX 4 News.
Page said he'll be doing a lot of listening to his players as they try to cope with the loss of their teammate.
A candlelight vigil will be held Monday at 8 p.m. at Raytown High School commemoriating Palmer's life.
A memorial fund has been created for Palmer. If you'd like to donate:
Any CommunityAmerica Credit Union branch
c/o Emmanual Palmer Memorial Fund
9777 Ridge Dr.
Lenexa, Kan., 66215