De Smet senior defensive back Adrian Bowman was found dead on Sunday. He was 17.
The circumstances surroundings Bowman’s death are unconfirmed.
De Smet football coach Pat Mahoney spent Sunday meeting with players and students at the school.
“It’s hard to describe,” Mahoney said. “He was one of the best teammates. What I’ve always said about him was that he didn’t back down from anybody and he always had his teammate’s back. He was fearless. It’s really tough.”
Grief counselors were at De Smet Sunday as students gathered in the campus chapel.
De Smet had tentative plans to hold a prayer service Monday morning when students arrived on campus.
There will be counselors and priests available at the school to talk with students about Bowman’s death. De Smet planned to send parents a letter explaining the situation and detailing the resources available for students and families affected by this tragedy.
De Smet's president, the Rev. Wally Sidney, S.J., said there is nothing that can prepare a school and community for something like this, even though it does happen.
“St. Louis U. High, Rockhurst, we’re Jesuit schools. We have all experienced the loss of a student,” Sidney said. “It’s never something you get used to. It’s never something you can plan for.
“You try to reach out to them and draw on the resources you have and your faith. You just try to lean on each other.”
Bowman signed his letter of intent to play football at Lindenwood University on Wednesday, which was National Signing Day.
De Smet experienced the loss of another student athlete in 2011 when Tom Horan died unexpectedly.