A Guyer High School student and football player was killed in a shooting incident Saturday night in a field near Bowie, Montague County Sheriff Paul Cunningham said.
Nathan Maki, an 18-year-old starting fullback for the team, was found dead inside a pickup in a field off Miller Road shortly after law enforcement received a call at 11:30 p.m. Saturday, Cunningham said.
An investigation into the cause of the shooting and the circumstances surrounding it is still ongoing, the sheriff said. Officials found a rifle at the scene and said that alcohol was believed to be a factor, but would not discuss specifics, he said.
“We’re not going to rule anything out right now,” Cunningham said, adding the case would likely be discussed with the Montague County District Attorney’s office to consider whether any charges would be filed in connection with the incident. “We’re classifying this as an open investigation,” he said.
Guyer Head Coach John Walsh expressed shock at Maki’s unexpected death.
“As a coach or administrator, you don’t prepare for anything like this. But Guyer’s a strong family and we’re going to take care of the Makis along the way,” he said.
Oschlor Flemming, who coaches the running backs for the high school team, remembered Nathan with fondness.
“Nathan [was] a great kid. It’s evidenced by the people that have showed up at the school. He always had a big smile on his face. I don’t think he had an enemy in the world,” Flemming said. “He was always happy. He was one of the better kids in our program — just as a kid, period.”
Walsh was making plans to bring Maki’s teammates together to deal with the sudden loss.
“We’re going to meet at Guyer with a bunch of them and start praying, and go from there.”
Flemming said he learned of the incident around 8:30 a.m. Sunday.
“We went to his house and we’ve been up at the school with the kids. We just told them, lean on each other,” Flemming said. “It’s amazing to see the Wildcat family come together at a tragic time like this.”
Maki, a senior, missed Thursday’s season opener against Cedar Hill due to an injury.
Last season, his first as a full-time varsity player, Maki played a big role in Guyer’s vaunted rushing attack as a key lead blocker, rushing for 155 yards on 22 carries and four touchdowns. He also caught seven passes for 88 yards and a touchdown.
“The hardest thing about being a coach, you’re used to being able to fix stuff for these kids. That’s the hardest part about watching these kids,” Flemming said. “You know you can’t fix it. That’s what makes it doubly hard for us as coaches in this program.”
Staff Writer Adam Boedeker contributed to this report
DAWN COBB can be reached at 940-566-6879.