Athlete dies in boat accident


Photo courtesy of Frank Mitchell III

Student Nick Barton died in early June in a boating accident.

Dan Elson, Sports Editor

A 21-year-old lacrosse athlete died in early June in a boating accident.
Third-year student Nick Barton, who played for the Riverhawks since 2020, died after he was thrown into the West River when the 17-foot boat he was in struck a channel marker near the Parish Creek Marina.
The other five people on the boat survived.
Current and former AACC athletes played a memorial lacrosse game on campus in June to honor Barton’s memory.
“Our hearts are broken over the passing of Nick Barton,” Athletic Director Duane Herr said in a statement. “Nick was a bright spot within the Riverhawk athletics community who left a lasting impression on everyone he met. It was a privilege watching him grow and flourish over the last three years.”
Herr added, “Our sincere condolences go to his family, friends, teammates and coaches.”
Barton, a midfielder, tallied 18 points last season, scoring 15 goals and getting three assists. He scored 39 goals and totaled nine assists in 29 career games with the Riverhawks.
Lacrosse head coach Joe Stanilaus said in a statement that Barton made his teammates better on the field.
“I am so grateful our paths crossed,” Stanilaus said. “We will forever miss his presence, but will never forget the leader he was becoming.”
Barton’s teammate, former AACC defensive athlete Dylan Anderson, said he considered him a leader on the squad.
“He was a Riverhawk [and] he was holding people to that same standard,” Anderson said.
Anderson said his favorite memory of Barton is “he would never borrow somebody else’s shorts. He always insisted on wearing these musty sweatpants he had in his car.”
Anderson also said he will remember Barton’s “resilience.”
Barton was a dean’s list student who made the athletic director’s honor roll twice.