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Madera High School soccer player loses battle with cancer

Courtesy of Nic Landeros

Madera Coyotes boys soccer coach Nic Landeros, left, and Christian Ramirez sell food at a football game last month.


After a two-and-a-half year battle with cancer, Madera Coyote boys soccer player Christian Ramirez passed away on Tuesday.

Ramirez was originally diagnosed with testicular cancer and recently found out he had tumors in his brain, which is what led to his passing.

“It wasn’t expected,” Madera Coyote boys soccer coach Nic Landeros said. “I was talking to his mom on Monday and she was giving me the game plan. He was going to undergo another treatment Tuesday and be home Thursday. The team was going to visit him once he got home. When I found out yesterday morning, it was kind of a shock. The timeline the doctors gave the parents, it didn’t happen.”

Landeros found out about Ramirez’s death Tuesday morning and let the players know later that morning.

“Christian was going through a lot,” Landeros said. “The boys understood the fact that he never quit. He was a fighter. They will use that as a motivation for the season. We’re trying to stay positive and keep his name living. The boys are motivated to do something for him in the season.”

Ramirez had been trying to play soccer for the past two years and would have been a member of the varsity team, Landeros said.

“He was always going to be on the team,” Landeros said. “His situation didn’t define his spot on the team. He was an exceptional player. He would have been on the team regardless of his situation.” Ramirez was planning on playing this season for the Coyotes.

“He was training with us the last three months every day,” Landeros said. “He was always there, even though he was doing chemo radiation. He would practice for two weeks and take a week off to do his treatment. Every three weeks, he was doing chemo treatments.”

Last month, Ramirez was helping Landeros sell food at a Coyote football game to raise money for the soccer program.

“The next day, he woke up at 5 a.m. to go for a run to get more conditioning,” Landeros said. “That’s the type of kid he was. He was working on his own when nobody else was around. When he got home, he took a nap. When he woke up, he was walking down the stairs and fell. That’s when his mom took him to the hospital because he was complaining of arm pain.”

Doctors did X-rays and a test for concussion and that’s when they found brain turmors. Ramirez tried to play last season, but his health wouldn’t let him.

“He was on the team, but he was still going through treatment last year,” Landeros said. “It happened that it came back at the same time. He was out of school a lot and not feeling too good. He had a lot more bad days than good days. He would travel with the team to games. He would be there to support the team and the boys would support him while he was going through his treatment.”

A number of organizations on campus are doing their part to try to raise money for Ramirez’s family.

“The Blue Crew club at Madera High was selling shirts on campus and will wear them at Thursday’s playoff football game,” Landeros said. “The ASB members are putting together an on-campus soccer tournament to raise money for the family. Me and my assistant coach will also try to have a soccer fundraiser open to alumni and any other adults to raise money and donate it to the family. We’re probably thinking the weekend after Thanksgiving.

“He was a good kid,” Landeros said. “He was one of the most humble, hard-working kid I have had. No kid deserves what he went through, especially not him. We’re trying to be there to support the family. All they wanted to do was see him play. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to do that. I know the boys will play their hearts out for Christian’s family.”

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