With heavy hearts, we received a call this morning from Shane Coach, father of second-year brass member Dakotah Coach, who informed us that it appeared Dakotah and his friend, Erika Borgstrom, jumped from the Stone Arch Bridge in Minneapolis and are presumed to have drowned in the Mississippi River. The two had been reported missing since last Friday evening.
Witnesses reported seeing two people jump from the bridge around 4:30 a.m. this morning. It is believed they have drowned but police continue their search. Tuesday afternoon, St. Croix Central High School principal Glenn Webb released this statement:
"The St. Croix Central School District community is grieving the loss of two wonderful students. Erika Borgstrom, a sophomore, and Dakotah Coach, a senior, took their own lives early Tuesday morning, May 14, 2013. Both were excellent students and outstanding musicians. They will be missed greatly by all who knew them. Our thoughts, prayers and support go out to their families, friends and the entire community during this very difficult time."
The Colts send prayers and sincere condolences to the teens' families. Dakotah's father, Shane, has been a regular volunteer at Colts weekend rehearsal camps, along with his grandparents, with whom Dakotah was very close.
Dakotah Coach embraced many of the qualities that make everyone in the Colts family so proud of its members. We remember the Dakotah we met last spring who came to his first drum corps audition young and inexperienced. Earning a position was not easy for Dakotah, and he had to push himself to a level that he may not have known existed. He persevered. He continued working toward his goal, and on Memorial Day, a year ago, he slipped into his uniform jacket for the first time as a member of the 2012 Colts Drum & Bugle Corps. He struggled through the "Cornfield Tour," pushed himself even further still throughout the summer, and when the season concluded at the Colts annual awards banquet in November, his peers had voted him one of the two Most Improved Members of the brass section.
Dakotah returned in November 2012 to once again earn his position within the drum corps. He had a contract to be a member of 2013 Colts and was scheduled to move-in for summer over the Memorial Day weekend. His wonderful presence - on the field, on the bus, and in the hearts of his Colts brothers and sisters - will live on.