Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

July 15, 2022
Tribute held for former Tooele High School baseball player during game versus Stansbury

An outpouring of love and support was on display Friday night during a memorial for a former Tooele High School baseball player at Dow James Park.

Ahead of Tooele’s matchup against the Stansbury Stallions, friends and family gathered on the diamond to pay tribute to Rayce Nelson. Nelson, a 15-year-old who passed away unexpectedly on June 27 from a brain tumor, played catcher for Tooele High School.

During the memorial, players from both teams donned gray t-shirts with Nelson’s number five on them and his nickname “Raycer” on the back. A catcher’s helmet sat atop home plate, with a  baseball balloon and a balloon of Rayce’s number five waving in the wind. 

Next to the helmet stood Rayce’s family: his father Jay, mother Jessica and his two siblings. As players and coaches lined up along the first and third baselines, Rayce’s family looked on and embraced one another as the speakers gave their heartfelt testimonies.

Cory Conger, who was one of Rayce’s former coaches, told tales of good times and mischief the 15-year-old got into. One story he shared was of a time Rayce and his friends were playing around with airsoft guns in Conger’s house, when Rayce accidentally shot at the refrigerator.

Conger laughed off the memory, though the mark of the incident is still imprinted on his appliance. “That ding can stay in my fridge forever,” he said.

After the memorial, Rayce’s father Jay was overcome with emotion and in awe of the turnout from members of the community.

“I appreciate everybody coming out, Rayce was a good kid,” he said. “He had a lot of friends and they just showed that today.”

To end the evening, Tooele’s club rallied and overcame a seven-run deficit to win the game 9-8. The victory notched the team its fifteenth win and ended the summer league season with a 15-1 record.

As one of the speakers during the memorial said: “You can’t ask for better than that.”

Those who would like to donate to Rayce’s GoFundMe page may visit: https://gf.me/v/c/c23/rayce-nelson-memorial-fund

 

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