WOODLAND (CBS13) – The death of a beloved high school baseball coach has rocked the community.
Hundreds gathered on the baseball field at Woodland High to honor Coach Felix Castillo and mourn after his sudden death.
“This is truly an honor and a blessing to see so many people and to see on Facebook how many people have responded to what happened,” said Delmar Billy, Felix’s brother.
Many recounted memories and fought back tears of how Coach taught them the love of the game.
“For eight years he was the face of us. He never got mad he was always positive and he always thought we had a chance,” said one player.
But parents said Coach taught the kids more than just baseball.
“He instilled hard work, honesty, discipline, he played the game right and more importantly he taught them how to be young men,” said Everett Treat, whose two sons played baseball.
Even past players talked about not wanting to let go of their high school coach.
“Just going into the end of the year I knew it was going to be rough not playing for him anymore, but I didn’t know it was going to be one of the last times I never see him,” said John Treat who graduated last year.
School officials said Coach Castillo was at an off-campus baseball field when the 48-year-old collapsed from a heart attack over the weekend.
The word spread fast leaving everyone in shock, but players and his friends and family know Coach is still by their side.
“He was always positive and he was always encouraging us, saying stick with it and go with that and I just want to say thank you for giving me my first chance,” said Freshman Coach Jackson Tsutsui from Woodland High.
The memory of coach will continue to live on through these players and the community he loved as much as the game.
Castillo has a wife and two kids. At the memorial the team presented them with Woodland High jerseys.