Coach of Notre Dame High School student killed by train: This scar won’t heal quickly
Notre Dame High School this week is mourning the death of soccer star Jacob J. "Coby" St. Phard, 18, who died Sunday after being hit by a train.
St. Phard was struck west of the Hamilton station around 8:20 p.m. by a NJ Transit maintenance train headed from the Meadowlands maintenance center in Kearny to the NJ Transit yard Morrisville, Penn. Hamilton police, who are heading up the investigation, have not said why St. Phard was on the tracks.
St. Phard, a senior at the Lawrenceville school, had signed a letter of intent with Susquehanna University in Pennsylvania to play for their team in the coming school year.
John McKenna, the high school's former athletic performance director and coach, said in a Facebook post that St. Phard's smile "lit up a room."
"Life is made up of scars and this one will not heal quickly," McKenna said.
"In coaching, you're looking for the best players you can possibly find," head soccer coach Jim Findlay said Tuesday. "My motto is to find someone that's just as good of a person if not better and Coby fit the bill in both regards for us. He was an excellent athlete and soccer player and we just felt he was going to fill many holes for us here within our program."
Findlay said St. Phard, who lived in East Windsor, had an outgoing personality and the team was looking forward to him playing with him.
Findlay said St. Phard's parents were very supportive and were looking forward to the start of his college playing career.
"All of my interactions with Coby from the first time we watched him play to the last time we saw him here in February were very positive."
Notre Dame held a private prayer service on Monday for St. Phard but has not issued a statement. Funeral arrangements have not been announced.