Eighteen-year-old Andrew Dantzler died Friday evening when he drowned during a trip to Lake Linganore with his friend.
According to police, the Seneca Valley High School Class of 2016 graduate became fatigued from swimming near the beach area of the lake.
“There is a beach area that they were hanging out at. There wasn’t a particular destination he was swimming to. He was just hanging out and went under,” said Lieutenant Kevin Grunwell of the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office.
Grunwell said dive teams and boats from Howard and Carroll County also assisted in the search, which lasted four hours.
“It’s lake water so it really wasn’t that clear so from what I understand (the divers) could only see a foot in front of them,” Grunwell said.
According to Andrew’s former basketball coach Brian Humphrey, Andrew played guard on Seneca Valley’s varsity basketball team and was well-liked by his teammates.
“Andrew was a great kid. He was very funny, very witty. Andrew was very articulate; he was very intelligent. Everybody liked him on the team,” Humphrey said.
Humphrey also said Andrew was quick to think on the basketball court and how even with a few broken bones in his left hand, Andrew was one of the major reasons why the team won against Clarksburg back in February.
“I don’t think he knew he had a broken hand at the time, so he kind of just toughed it out. He found out the next day,” Humphrey said.
Former teammate Tyran Crawford called Andrew, who was known as “Drewski” to his teammates, “basketball smart” and said he always knew the answers to the coach’s questions.
“He was always very motivational. He was always clapping his hands on the bench no matter what the circumstances were,” Tyran said.
“He would always say ‘You got it, Tyran. Yeah, Ty!’”
Quentin Twyman, another former teammate, also described Andrew as a smart player on the court.
“He was one of the smartest point guards we had. We had good chemistry,” Quentin said.
Quentin, a former power forward for the team, had known Andrew for four years. He said they met through basketball after the first semester of their freshman year.
“He was just always laughing and he was always positive. He was always laid back and chill. He had very good vibes with everybody,” Quentin said.
Quentin said though he has different lingos with each of his friends, his friendship with Andrew was completely different.
“Me and Andrew, we just could bond in a totally different way,” Quentin said.
Tyran said Andrew was the kind of person whose presence was known wherever he went. He said Andrew was helpful toward anybody.
“Andrew, he was very witty, always smiling, knew everything (and) and always willing to help,” he said. “In sophomore year I had him in my chemistry class and I always sat near him. He just made sure that I didn’t (fall) behind in my chemistry.”
According to Andrew’s mother Renee, it was no surprise to her and her husband how helpful Andrew was to his teammates.
“Andrew loved life. He loved smiling and making people smile,” Renee said.
Renee mentioned how Andrew was very good at math. He even helped his father with his college math class.
Though he was good at math, Renee said Andrew wanted to go to Morgan State University to study construction management.
Quentin said Andrew wanted to have his own construction business and travel the world when he got older.
Renee said Morgan State University was the only school he applied to. He was accepted.
Renee pointed out that in almost every team Andrew was in, he was the shortest or one of the shorter players.
“Even though he was 5-foot-7, he had a 6-foot-5 attitude,” Renee said.
Renee said she and husband also joked around and called him the “Know-It-All.”
“Andrew knew it. Andrew knew it all. The three words we would never hear Andrew utter was ‘I don’t know’,” Renee said.
Quentin said in their debates, such as the most recent one regarding whether Kevin Durant should play for the Golden State Warriors, Andrew showed confidence.
“He acted like he knew everything. Even if he was wrong, the way he said it made it seem like he was right,” Quentin said.
According to Quentin, Andrew had slept over on Thursday. He also said Andrew invited him to go with him to the lake, but Quentin decided not to go.
When Tyran called him to tell him the news, Quentin said he couldn’t believe it.
“I didn’t really believe it because I saw him that morning,” Quentin said.
Tyran said he received the news through a friend that lives by the lake. He said his friend sent a message through a group chat asking if anybody knew Andrew and what happened to him.
“He said, ‘You guys know Andrew?’ My friend said yes and he said he died. I immediately broke out into tears because for some reason, I felt it was true, that it wasn’t a joke,” Tyran said.
He said once he saw an article about Andrew’s death, he called Quentin as soon as he could.
Renee said she received the news when police arrived at their Germantown residence.
“Police officers came to our house and told us they were in search of him,” Renee said.
Renee said she spoke with Andrew about tension between African Americans and police. She said she told Andrew not to be angry at any police officer.
“His favorite thing to say was, ‘I’m good, ma.’ I gave him a big hug and he said, ‘I’m good, ma,’” said Renee.
Andrew’s family recently had a gathering with family and friends to share their memories of Andrew, tell some stories about him and talk about him.
Renee said though this is a hard time for anyone who knew Andrew, she knows that he is in a better place and finds solace in the fact that he touched so many lives.
“He impacted a lot of people’s lives, probably more in 18 years than some people do in 40 or 45 years,” Renee said.
Quentin and Tyran were also at the gathering. Quentin said Andrew’s family is some of the strongest people he has met.
For Tyran, how impactful Andrew was toward other people still amazes him.
“I’m going to miss that guy,” he said.