Smyrna High School senior drowns in Murfreesboro

Smyrna High School senior drowns in Murfreesboro

Posted: Updated: Sep 3, 2013 5:10 PM
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An 18-year-old senior at Smyrna High School who drowned Monday afternoon while swimming with friends is being remembered as a teen that wanted to be a soldier, but "would help his worst enemy."

According to Murfreesboro Assistant Fire Chief Allen Swader, the teen, identified as Matthew Grissom, was trying to cross the water near the Walter Hill Dam just before 2 p.m. when he panicked and went under.

Divers searched the area.  Grissom's body was recovered before 4 p.m.

"My mom texted me with the news and I could not stop bawling," said cousin Dallas Dolohite "[He] always had a smile on his face, always tried to fix other people's problems. He would volunteer for anything, help anybody out, even his worst enemy."

Grissom's classmates and teammates on the Smyrna High School football team found out about his Grissom's passing through Twitter and Facebook.  Many were shocked that the athletic and well-liked student died in such a tragic manner.

"The guy, you just never found him without a smile whenever you had a bad day because he was always the one to make you happy," said classmate Chris Beverly.

"He was friends with everybody. Everyone loved him and it's sad to see him go," said Jackson Holland, a teammate.

"Coach Williams always said good things about each person and stuff, but he always called him a hard worker. It's a terrible incident, but God has a plan for everything," added teammate Christian Saad.

On Tuesday, Smyrna High held a moment of silence for Grissom. The school's flag was also lowered to half staff in his honor.

School officials said Grissom's name will be added to the memorial fountain that honors students who have died during the time they were in high school.

One of the principals at Smyrna High told News 2 Grissom planned to enlist in the military after graduation, possibly even the Marines.

Classmates said the 18-year-old had taken a year of junior ROTC training while at the school.  

Grissom is the third person to die in a water-related accident in Middle Tennessee over the Labor Day weekend.

Friends have set up a Facebook page honoring Grissom.

A 22-year-old Nashville man drowned Monday while swimming at Burgess Falls State Park in Sparta, and on Sunday, a 39-year-old La Vergne man died after he was thrown from his boat on Percy Priest Lake in Nashville.

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