A Jordan High School football player who collapsed and later died of an undiagnosed heart defect was remembered by teammates in a candlelight vigil Tuesday night and will be honored with services this week, family friends said.
Temoc Castellanos, 15, was running on the Jordan track during junior varsity football practice after school at 2 p.m. Dec. 11 when he collapsed, said Long Beach Unified School District's spokesman Chris Eftychiou.
"The ... tenth grader was apparently in cardiac arrest, and school staff performed CPR until paramedics arrived and transported him to a local hospital," Eftychiou wrote in response to Patch questions. " We do not know what caused Temoc's sudden collapse.
"Unfortunately," Eftychiou added, "while he was in the hospital, Temoc died on the evening of Friday, Dec. 14. The Jordan community is deeply saddened by this loss, and our thoughts are with Temoc's family. We have counselors available at Jordan for students as needed."
Tempoc was on the principal's honor roll at Jordan High and had earned the U.S. Boy Scouts of America achievement of Life Scout and the badges for Eagle Scout; he had only his final project remaining, said close family friend, Yolanda Veronica James, whose son is also in scouts.
James said Tuesday night that "there was a heart abnormality that the family did not know about until he collapsed." She was in communication with Temoc's father, who was contributing information for this story about his only child.
"They are proud, but devastated due to the unimaginable," said James of Temoc's parents, Mario and Mercedes Castellanos.
The district's Eftychiou said Temoc had attended Grant Elementary School from grades two through five, and Hughes Middle School from grades six through eight. He had attended Jordan High School since ninth grade.
Family friend James said Temoc "was on the Principal's Honor Roll, always maintaining a 3.5 (G.P.A.) or better." He had a dog named Comet, which is Temoc spelled backwards. "Of course the dog was named after Temoc and not the other way around," she said, adding that Temoc was a family name.
A candlelight vigil was held Tuesday night at Temoc's parents' house in North Long Beach, attended by what James estimated to be 75 or 80 players. Some details about Temoc that were shared by family and classmates:
His favorite food was spaghetti. He played on defense for the JV team. His favorite things to do were to play on his gaming systems - particularly X-Box and the Wii. Tomac was born at Los Alamitos Medical Center on Nov. 11, 1997. His favorite colors were blue and yellow. Close family friend Yolanda James went on:
"Temoc was interesting in that he reminded me of an old spirit. You could not get kids today to listen to oldies but Temoc did, with his favorite band being the Rolling Stones and music from the 50's & 60's. His favorite cars included the 67/68 Mustang.
"His favorite vacations were to Mexico City to visit relatives and to go to the beaches and swimming pools. He liked to help out the neighbors and when they would go on vacation, he would surprise them by mowing their lawns and cleaning around their houses."
The family provided the following plans for Tomac's services:
The viewing is from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday night at Our Lady of the Rosary Parish, 14815 S. Paramount Blvd., Paramount, CA. 90723.
The funeral/mass is from 9 a.m. to 11a.m. Thursday, December 20th at the same parish as above. The internment following will be at Inglewood Park Cemetery, with repast at Temoc's family home.
"So many times we hear about the troubling stuff with teens, particularly minorities, and we just want his life highlighted," said James. She said Temoc was a good kid, and they often go uncelebrated in the everyday rain of bad news.