Cherokee County authorities say 18-year-old prep football standout Matt Blaylock suffered a spinal injury in a swimming pool accident the night before his high school graduation.

While visiting friends near Canton, Blaylock dove head-first into the shallow end of a swimming pool Friday night. He had spinal surgery Monday at Grady Hospital and remains in stable condition.

Dr. Manny's Blog: Avoiding a Deadly Accident

Blaylock had left his mark at Cherokee High — both on the athletic fields and in the classroom. He was voted "Most Athletic" his senior year.

School system spokesman Mike McGowan says Cherokee High's graduation went on the next day, adding: "We're hoping for the best."