Mount Pleasant Student-Athlete Sergio Gonzalez Remembered After Sudden Passing

Sergio Gonzales (provided).jpg

A community is remembering a 15-year-old Mount Pleasant student and athlete. Sergio Gonzalez died Wednesday after several days spent in the ICU at MUSC. School officials said he suddenly collapsed. An autopsy is pending.

The news hit those at Oceanside Academy hard. Football coach Chad Grier said the 15-year-old was a talented athlete with a promising future in sports.

“Huge impact on the school,” said Grier. “I mean, he was loved by everybody, teachers, administrators, students.”

Sergio was the football team’s starting kicker and never missed a workout, something rare for team kickers.

“He came to my office last spring in McClellanville, I had just got here and trying to figure out what’s what,” Grier said. “Sergio said ‘hey, I’d like to play football.’ He’s a soccer player, he’s a great soccer player.”

Oceanside soccer coach Joey Lontrato said Sergio was a true sports-lover, also active in the Cainhoy Soccer Club.

“He plays all over the field,” said Lontrato we have him places from center back to center-mid and I even gave him an opportunity to play forward in the State Cup this past November to where he actually scored a goal for us, so that was very impressive.”

The school held a moment of silence in his memory on Friday.

“The school’s done a great job. They have grief counselors and people trained to do that. I try to listen more than talk,” said Grier. “(I) try to be as supportive as I can and try to let the kids know that we truly love them and care about them and that we love and care about Sergio and his family, they are great people.”

Lontrato also works at Lloyd’s Sports off Long Point Road in Mount Pleasant. On Friday, he and other staffers printed on more than 200 white shirts, each outfitted with Sergio’s number, 19.

“We’re going to retire his number, I know the football team is going to retire his number and I think in his honor, that is the proper thing to do,” said Lontrato.

The shirts will be worn at the memorial service on Saturday at 10:00 a.m. at the Charleston Battery’s MUSC Health Stadium on Daniel Island. Attendees are also asked to bring a soccer ball in his honor.

Lontrato said the money from t-shirt sales will be donated to Sergio’s family to help with funeral and medical costs.

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