LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A high school baseball team from Southern California is in Las Vegas this week playing in a tournament … and playing with a purpose.
Their games are dedicated to victims of the 1 October shooting in Las Vegas, now nearly five years ago.
The Bellflower Buccaneers are braving the weather this week with several games in the valley. Three players on this team have relatives who were killed in the 1 October shooting in 2017.
They were barely 13 at the time the shootings took place.
Chris Guillen lost his mom.
“We played for them. I mean, everyone knows it,” Chris Guillen said. “We played for them. Played our hearts out with these jerseys … give it all on the field.”
Chris’s mom Rocia Guillen was at the Route 91 Concert to enjoy the weekend of music. She didn’t make it back to her family.
The players are wearing special patches on their jerseys to honor Rocio and Christiana Duarte, who also died that night. Two of her cousins, the shortstop and second baseman, play for Bellflower.
“It’s great my team will put on these jerseys with the patch in the back knowing that they support us and they’re there for us,” Buccaneers player Gil Sanchez said.
“It’s a camaraderie thing,” coach George Robert said. “These guys have gone through a lot throughout these last couple years. So to come here, to actually come here to Vegas for this tournament is a big deal to us.”
Chris has a younger brother and sister who are now just becoming old enough to process what happened that day in Las Vegas. He’s now active building the charity in his mother’s name to help those in need.
“I was trying to be there for my little brother, my little sister, because they were really, really young. They don’t know what happened. So, you know, it was just tough seeing them,” he said.
Following today’s game the boys from Bellflower presented the players from Liberty High School with special lanyards with the logo representing Rocio Guillen and Christiana Duarte, keeping their memories alive in Las Vegas.
The team will play again tomorrow at 8 a.m. at Durango High School.
Here’s the website you can go to for more information — The Rocio Guillen Foundation: thergfoundation.com.