MADISON - Dawson-Boyd senior running back Michael Anyasike was found dead early Sunday.
Anaysike was a key member of the Blackjacks, who finished 12-2 overall and was the Class A runner-up to Mahnomen, which topped Dawson-Boyd 46-13 in the 2013 MSHSL Prep Bowl.
Blackjacks head coach Corey Larson remembered Anyasike fondly.
"Loved coaching him and I remember he always had a smile on his face a huge smile," Larson said. "It didn't matter how things were going for him. He was always going to have a smile on his face. He was certainly loved by his classmates, respected by his peers and had a very great sense of humor."
Larson said accidents can strike at any time.
"I realize that things like this happen. It was accident that can happen to any of us," Larson said. "I'm going to miss Mike."
Anaysike finished third in The Marshall Independent area in rushing. He ran for 1,260 yards and 14 touchdowns while averaging 8.3 yards per carry in 2013.
"As an athlete, he was very hard-working and a great kid to coach," Larson said. "His teammates are going to miss him as a friend. He was the type of guy that I would expect to have big conversations with as he came back from college and stay in contact. His teammates have holes in their hearts that may never be healed. He left them with some good memories that, hopefully, they will be able to hang on to."
Throughout Sunday, friends of Anyasike memorialized him in posts on Facebook and Twitter.
Anyasike's death is under investigation and no more details have been released by public officials.
A prayer service for Anyasike is being organized and will take place at Grace Lutheran Church in Dawson.