SKOWHEGAN — A local 17-year-old died Sunday when he drowned while swimming with his family in Embden Pond.

Scott Brown, of Norridgewock, was swimming to shore from floating docks at the Embden public beach when he went under, said Jared Herrick, of the Maine Warden service. The drowning was reported shortly before 7 p.m. Sunday.

Brown was a Skowhegan Area High School honor roll student and football player. He had just started his senior year and was weeks away from his 18th birthday.

Teammates, friends and family gathered onn Monday afternoon at the high school for an impromptu memorial service. Principal Monique Poulin said the school’s crisis team had been activated to help grieving students. A junior varsity football game planned for Monday was canceled.

“We will be here to support all of our students,” Poulin said Monday afternoon at the school.

In a telephone interview Monday, head football coach Matt Friedman remembered Brown as a “great young man.”

“He was unselfish. He would do anything for anyone else,” Friedman said.

Having coached Brown for the past four years, Friedman said he was dedicated to his academics and athletics.

“No matter what we asked him to do, he never questioned it,” Friedman said. “He would go out there and give it his all every time he was out on the field.”

Teammates and friends were upset during the afternoon memorial, and Friedman said he and other teachers and staff members will work hard with students to make sure they get through the next few difficult weeks.

“Many young people haven’t lost anyone, let alone someone their own age,” Friedman said.

What caused the drowning isn’t clear, but Herrick said Brown wasn’t entangled by anything that would have held him underwater. Dehydration or a muscle cramp could have contributed to the drowning, Herrick said.

Brown was swimming with his 13-year-old brother and two 14-year-old girls when the accident happened, Herrick said. The teen spent about 15 minutes on a floating dock anchored off shore before jumping in to swim to the beach.

He was swimming with a front breast stroke before he switched to a backstroke, Herrick said.

His mother, who was watching from shore, saw him swimming, turned away for about 30 seconds, then looked again and saw that he was underwater, Herrick said.

The teen’s brother tried to recover Brown, and he was eventually brought onto shore, where his mother started CPR until emergency medical crews arrived.

The boy was taken to Redington-Fairview General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 8:28 p.m. Sunday.

Speaking outside the high school after the memorial event, Brown’s aunt Brenda Waugh said the mood inside was somber.

“Scott touched a lot of people’s lives. He was really friendly to everybody,” Waugh said. “He was a great boy. It’s tragic that he lost his life at 17.”

Brown was always ready to lend a helping hand to members of his family and went out of his way to make people feel included, Waugh added.

“He tried to make everyone feel welcome,” she said.

Brown’s parents didn’t attend the service, and the unexpected death has hit them hard, she added.

Former teammates remembered Brown as a committed, hardworking football player who was a cornerback for the Skowhegan Indians.

“Football, I think, was something he was really into,” said Dan Quirion, a Skowhegan Area High School alumnus who graduated last year.

“He would always try to keep his grades up during the season so he could play,” he added.

Quirion played football with Brown for the three years after the teen joined the team as a freshman.

“He was a kid with a big heart,” Quirion said. Right now, everyone is trying to deal with the surprise of losing a teammate so young, he added.

Josh Meng, another Skowhegan graduate and former football player, remembered Brown as a laid-back person who was friendly and got along with everybody.

“He never took anything for granted,” Meng said. “He always worked his hardest.”

Reached Monday, football team captain Kameron Doucette said he’d known Brown since the two went to middle school. They played football together and studied in the same carpentry class, but they didn’t get together outside of class, he said.

“I just knew him as a really hard worker who never gave up on anything,” Doucette said. “It’s pretty tragic that he’s gone now.”

Doucette was in New York state looking at colleges, but he said he heard about Brown’s death and had been in touch with his teammates and his family.

“It’s really upsetting to know one of our teammates is gone,” he said. “It’s hard to believe.”

Peter McGuire — 861-9239

[email protected]

Twitter: PeteL_McGuire

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