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Alexis Herrera remembered as a good friend

Crowd of 300 honor him Tuesday
By: Patty McAlpin, Reporter
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To donate:

An account has been set up at Wells Fargo in Lincoln to help the family of Alexis Herrera. The account number is 9737664327 under the name of Jesus Herrera-Cobos. The telephone number for Wells Fargo is 434-5860.

 

Family and friends gathered for an hour the evening of Jan. 29 in the place Alexis Herrera loved best to remember him and honor his memory – on the soccer field at Lincoln High School.

The crowd of about 300 stood in a circle with a framed photo of Alexis at the center, holding candles and shedding tears, to observe a moment of silence and talk about the son, friend and teammate they loved.

Alexis took his life Jan. 19. He was a Lincoln High School and Phoenix High School graduate and played on the Lincoln High School boys’ soccer team.

Lincoln High School student Edson Garcia, one of the vigil organizers, thanked those who came.

Garcia said he has known Alexis since sixth-grade.

“We played soccer out here,” Garcia said. “He’s gone but he’s still with us.”

Garcia invited anyone who would like to speak to come forward.

Alexis’s parents, Jesus and Marilyn Herrera, walked to the center of the crowd. They thanked everyone who came to the candlelight vigil.

“Let’s not go through something like this again,” Jesus Herrera told the crowd. “Children, enjoy your parents and parents, enjoy your children.”

“God loaned me Alexis,” Jesus Herrera said. “I have good memories. Some are sad. Some are joyful moments.”

Marilyn Herrera told the youth that she “is grateful for the love and affection” they showed her son.

“My son had such a big heart and he was an example of a great friend,” Marilyn Herrera said. “I’ll never understand what led him to make this decision. Whatever happens in your life, it’s not worth making the same decision. I loved my boy. You can’t imagine what a mother goes through.”

Marilyn Herrera said she knows there is speculation in the community about why her son chose to take his life, but “one thing is for sure. I do not have an answer for you as to why he did it.”

After they spoke, Alexis’ parents held each other tightly.

Lincoln High School graduate Jose (Lalo) Bocanegra, who also helped organize the vigil, called Alexis a “brother on the field.”

“He’s gone now but I remember him as a warrior,” Bocanegra said. “I remember the smile on his face. He was always so happy.”

Alexis’s soccer teammates created a circle within the circle around his picture.

“As teammates, we love each other as homies,” Bocanegra said. “No one wants to think that something like this could happen to us. Here we are looking at Alexis through a frame. Never give up on life.”

Church of the Harvest Pastor Dan Beltran recalled that Alexis came to the church’s Peace for the Streets program a few times.

“I remember his smile and his posture,” Beltran said. “He stood ready to either run or jump. He was a very active boy. He loved being around people.”

Beltran asked the crowd if he could speak a blessing over them. Alternating in Spanish and English, Beltran blessed them and told them, “It’s amazing to see how much you can love someone. Life is a gift. I understand life can be hard. I was young once. There are good people out there to listen to you. God places people on Earth to help you. Maybe it’s a priest, a rabbi, grandma, a mom, a teacher. Never give up on life. You have a bright future.”

 

Soccer tournament raises funds for family

A soccer tournament was played Sunday in remembrance of Alexis Herrera.

Lincoln High School teacher Jason Treanor said 300 attendees at the soccer tournament from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday helped raise money to help Herrera’s family.

Eight teams participated. The players were part of men’s league teams representing Lincoln, Roseville, Rocklin, Auburn and Grass Valley.

Grass Valley beat Lincoln 3 to 1 to win the tournament.

Coach Nacho Bautista, whose son, Isaul Bautista, played soccer for Lincoln High School the past two years, spearheaded the tournament. His wife, Abigail, ran the snack bar. Community members donated the food.

Between the tournament entrance fees and the snack bar, approximately $1,500 was raised to give the Herrera family.