Family, friends cope with the sudden death of Stafford head baseball coach

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Baseball coach remembered after sudden death, Pooja Lodhia reports.

He was known as a coach, mentor, father, friend and community leader. Now, the entire community is remembering the life of Stafford High School head baseball coach Michael Mesa.

Mesa, 25, had just completed a game of paintball Friday night with his family when he collapsed. Efforts to revive him were unsuccessful.

Students came out to the baseball field Saturday morning to remember the coach who meant so much more to them.

"I consider him as a mentor and a friend. I talked to him a lot; he's a really good guy. He's a mentor, taught me the game," Manny Hinojosa said.

Mesa was also a Spanish teacher at Stafford High.

"Everybody is in shock at this point and just can't believe it," Athletic Director Ron Counter said. "He's such a young man in great physical condition and to lose him so unexpectedly like we did."

Stafford Municipal School District will have grief counselors on campus available to students, staff and community members. The district says the counselors will be at the school on Sunday and throughout the school week.

Mesa is survived by his fiancee and two year old son.

Full statement released by Stafford MSD:

The Stafford Municipal School District is shocked and saddened to learn of the death of a faculty member who was also a coach, mentor, father, friend and community leader.

Stafford High Head Baseball Coach Michael Mesa passed away unexpectedly at age 25 on Friday night. He had just completed a game of Paintball with his family, when he collapsed. Efforts to revive him were unsuccessful, and an autopsy to determine his cause of death is currently underway.

Stafford MSD will have grief counselors on campus -- available to students, staff and community members -- beginning at 5 p.m. today (Saturday), 5 p.m. tomorrow (Sunday) -- and throughout the school week.

Funeral arrangements have not been made at this time, but we will send out a statement when those are finalized.

Mesa's players have decided to host a Candlelight Vigil in his honor at 6:30 p.m. Sunday at the Stafford High baseball field, 1625 Staffordshire Road in Stafford.

Stafford MSD has decided to dedicate its upcoming Cinco De Mayo program in Mesa's honor, and a Moment of Silence will be observed prior to the presentation on Wednesday morning. Mesa, a 2008 Stafford High graduate, taught Spanish at Stafford Middle and High Schools.
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