An Anne Arundel Community College lacrosse player died in a weekend boat crash, according to Maryland Department of Natural Resources Police.
The agency responded to a boating incident in the West River on Saturday evening, when police told them a white center console boat had struck a channel piling near Parish Creek, throwing six boaters into the water, according to a news release.
Five of the boaters resurfaced, but police, fire and dive teams including the U.S. Coast Guard, Anne Arundel County Fire Department and the Maryland State Police had to search for the sixth occupant, the DNR said.
Nick Barton, 21, of Crofton was found deceased in the water during the search.
Barton played lacrosse for the Riverhawks for three seasons, and had graduated from South River High School, according to the community college. He played as a midfielder, and was on the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll in 2021 and 2022.
Joe Stanilaus, AACC’s head lacrosse coach, said in a statement he was “blessed to know” Barton in his time at the community college.
“Nick made everyone around him better, myself included,” Stanilaus said.
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Over the three years Stanilaus knew Barton, he made “huge strides” in the classroom as well as on the field, becoming a dean’s list student.
The institution’s athletic director, Duane Herr, said in the statement it was “a privilege watching [Barton] grow and flourish over the last three years.”
“Nick was a bright spot within the Riverhawk Athletics community who left a lasting impression on everyone he met,” Herr said.
Barton had previously played lacrosse at South River, and at DeMatha Catholic High School, where his father Ed Barton graduated in 1985, according to the school.
“The DeMatha community was saddened to learn of the passing of former [DeMatha] student Nick Barton over the weekend,” the school wrote in a tweet Monday. “The family is in our prayers.”
Barton’s visitation will be held at Beall Funeral Home in Bowie on Thursday from 7 to 9 p.m. His funeral service will be held at Sacred Heart Church in Bowie on Friday at noon, according to his obituary.
A Natural Resources Police investigation of the boat crash is ongoing.