Friends, family remember Raleigh teen who drowned at the beach - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Friends, family remember Raleigh teen who drowned at the beach

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19-year-old Braxton "Philly" Horton drowned over the weekend at Atlantic Beach 19-year-old Braxton "Philly" Horton drowned over the weekend at Atlantic Beach
RALEIGH, N.C. -

Friends and family remembered an Eastern Carolina University freshman and former Athens Drive High School sports star Monday night. 

Braxton Horton, known as "Philly" to his friends, drowned at Atlantic Beach over the weekend after being pulled away by a rip current. He went missing at the beach Saturday. His body was found Sunday.

A vigil took place Monday night in the gymnasium at Athens Drive High School. Friends and former football teammates called him Philly because his family had recently moved to Raleigh from Philadelphia.

Breanna Brewington broke down in tears as we spoke with her outside the vigil that she organized for her friend.  She told us she still misses him every minute.

"He could walk in a room and everybody would be happy because Philly just had that energy to him," Brewington said. "He just had an energy that made everybody cheer up."

Hundreds of his friends and former teammates talked out their grief inside the Athens Drive gym. Some spoke directly to his familY -- many were in disbelief, including one of his former football coaches.

"I don't know a teacher, a coach, a friend, a class friend or just somebody passing in the hall that he didn't have a positive effect on," Athens Drive football coach Jimmy Ray said.

The sudden loss taught some of the young lives in that room a hard lesson about life.

"We need the cherish each other while we can because nobody thought this would happen," Brewington said.

A second vigil is scheduled for Tuesday morning at Athens Drive High School.

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Derick Waller

Derick is a reporter for WNCN covering crime, education, politics and just about everything in between. He has a knack for adapting to any story and consistently delivers information quickly across multiple platforms. More>>

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