Monday was an awful day for the Long Beach City College athletics as the Vikings lost two members of their family. First came the news of women’s soccer assistant coach Sal Marroquin’s heart attack that morning, and then they found out baseball player Jackson Roeder had also passed away suddenly.
Roeder was 21. According to sources close to the family his death was accidental.
“He was definitely a teammate favorite,” LBCC baseball coach Casey Cook said. “He was kind of one of those quiet guys but he was always in a good mood with a very infections personality and smile.”
Roeder attended Marina High in Huntington Beach where he was an avid surfer and played for former Long Beach Poly coach Toby Hess. The friendship between Hess and Cook is the reason Roeder came to Long Beach.
“He was a surfer masquerading in catchers gear and he was an excellent defensive catcher,” Hess said of Roeder. “He was free spirit, open-minded guy looking for new experiences.”
Hess added that Roeder was one of the first Marina baseball players to accept him when he took over the job weeks before the 2017 season, and that the catcher was a great leader.
“I never saw him in any other mode than smile or laugh mode,” Hess said. “He lit up every room. He had a sneaky grin, and he loved life.”
After two seasons behind the plate at Marina, Hess suggested Roeder take his talents to LBCC because of his respect for Cook’s program. Roeder redshirted his first year at LBCC, and played a handful of games for the Vikings last year before the season was cancelled.
Roeder’s friends and teammates have already been sharing their condolences with each other online.
“He was just a great guy,” Wilson High and LBCC product Ryan Guerero said. “I don’t think anyone could say bad a word about him. He always showed up and did his work and made everyone around him just feel better.”
Crook has scheduled a Wednesday Zoom meeting for all current and former LBCC players who knew Roeder, and said the LBCC mental health staff will be included to help the Vikings cope with their loss.
The LBCC Baseball twitter account was the first to announce the tragic news, and some of its most bitter rivals showed support online.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Roeder family and the LBCC baseball program as they mourn the loss of a great young man. R.I.P. Jackson 🙏 https://t.co/RgQSQ9Edmw
Thinking of you guys today https://t.co/HsRVLRWjZL
Funeral arrangements haven’t been announced.
This story will be updated…