ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. – The drowning of an Altamonte Springs teenager last week in Daytona Beach has left a community of youth football players and supporters devastated.
“It has rocked our entire organization, especially the 14-U team. All of us have been touched by this tragic death and loss,” said David Outing, the president and founder of the Central Florida Lions Youth Sports Ministry.
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Joshua Masson was at the beach with friends on July 7 when officials with Volusia County Beach Safety Ocean Rescue believe he got caught by a rip current.
He was eventually found by bystanders less than a mile north of where he went missing, beach safety said.
Chris Marie Edouard, Masson’s mother, said her son loved playing football, and sports was all he talked about.
“He was that type of kid where you could never get mad at him. His spirit and his presence was just, like, positive,” Edouard said.
She said her only son was also a best friend, going on mommy-son date nights, for instance.
“The last thing he said to me was he wanted me to be happy,” Edouard said.
“What strikes me about Joshua is just his mannerism,” Outing said. “Very mannerable, very honorable, always wanting to be a better version of himself, always wanting to influence his teammates and schoolmates in a positive way.”
The Lions players will be wearing Joshua’s number 6 on their helmets during the season in his owner. They will also be memorializing one of his jerseys.
“He was an exemplary student, an exemplary athlete, an exemplary person,” Outing said.
Edouard just wants people to know the impact her son had on this small community.
“I feel like a part of me just ripped, you know, the worst pain ever,” she said.
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