Little League players honor fallen service members

Little League players honor fallen service members
On hand for the Coast Cities Juniors Little League Memorial Day scrimmage are, back row, Coach Kevin Burke, Adam Young, Coach Bob Prag, Max Schreier, Adam Cassar, Rocco Marcolongo, Gavin Stafford, Zach Carlson, Sam Holcombe, Camden Seavers, Coach Nico Marcolongo, Otto Baughman, AJ Prag, Greg Warrick, Logan McIntyre, Noah Shamlou, Brendon Alvarez, Haidyn Ledingham, Coach Kyle Grozen, Coach Kevin Lin and home-plate umpire Bob Salyi; and, front row, Daniel Knapp, Dominic Crosetti, Enoch Huang, Brandon Lin, Joe Burke, Sam Kantorovich, Matt Deetman and Tyler Howard. The banner on the fence lists 32 fallen soldiers from Del Mar, Solana Beach and Encinitas, where the players live. Photo by Bianca Kaplanek

DEL MAR — To help his players remember and understand the meaning of Memorial Day, Nico Marcolongo held his annual scrimmage May 28 to honor Del Mar, Encinitas and Solana Beach service members who died while serving this nation.

When the Marine Corps veteran, who served two tours in Iraq, started the tradition in 2012 as a Solana Beach Little League coach, his banner listed the names and photos of 14 Solana Beach military members who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

As his players aged and the teams expanded to include the two cities to the north and south, so too did Marcolongo’s banner.

“It was a lot of research,” he said. “It took about three years to put it together.”

Marcolongo looked up grave registrations and researched the names on the San Diego War Memorial and Solana Beach Veterans Honor Courtyard at La Colonia Park to find the names.

Some of the relatives of the 32 fallen soldiers now listed attended the game. Team Liberty just barely outscored Team Freedom, 7-6.

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