CONCORD -- The original plan didn't have Montreal Blakely attending Concord High School. The senior with the high GPA, a black belt in karate and exceptional football ability was expected to ply those skills at Mt. Diablo High.
But, according to his football coach, Blakely's mother figured Concord would be a better fit. And he was thriving at the school, a kid "who as good a football player as he was, was just as good, if not better, a teammate and person," Minutemen football coach Brian Hamilton said. "Incredible future ahead of him."
Sadly, that promise ended Saturday night in a hail of bullets in San Francisco's Bayview district, police said. Blakely, 17, died when he was shot by an unknown assailant on Ocescola Lane about 10 p.m., police said.
Blakely was with friends when someone fired at least one shot into his head, police and friends said. At least one friend drove Blakely to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said.
No suspects have been arrested, and police have not released any other details. It is unclear why Blakely was in San Francisco, but his father lives in the Bayview district, and Blakely visited often, multiple sources said.
The teen's family could not immediately be reached for comment Monday.
Grief counselors were available at Concord High, Principal Dr. Gary McAdam said, and likely would remain at the school throughout the week.
"A lot of kids are visibly upset," McAdam said. "We have crisis teams in place. It's just sad, a real tragedy."
Blakely was a popular student at the school, a gregarious outgoing sort who was carrying a 3.6 GPA and "probably was going to attend a UC school," McAdam said. The teen had sat for his senior portrait earlier Saturday, McAdam said.
Blakely moved from San Francisco to live with his mother but returned often to visit his father, McAdam said.
"He was just such a polite, respectful young man, very well-rounded, very charismatic," said Trista Alves, the mother of one of Blakely's best friends. "He cared a lot about the other people in his life. And he loved his football."
On the field, Blakely played cornerback and safety and helped the Minutemen to a 10-3 season by making 86 tackles, according to stats used by MaxPreps.com, a national website that tracks high school sports.
"He came from a background of not having much, so he really appreciated what he had," Hamilton said. "His thoughts were always on others."
Hamilton said that after he informed his team, some players voted to purchase Christmas trees for families in need and to donate them in Blakely's honor.
"That's the kind of kid he was," Hamilton said. "Our kids figured that was the best way to honor him."
A vigil is planned for the teen at 7 p.m. Friday at the football field, Hamilton said.
Bay City News Service contributed to this report. Rick Hurd covers breaking news. Follow him at Twitter.com/3rdERH.