Natomas Comes Together To Honor Salvador

Natomas high school students, educators and community leaders joined the family of Salvador Heredia-Arriaga to celebrate a life cut short by tragedy. 
“Salvador accomplished more in a short amount of time than most do their entire life,” his Natomas High football coach Terry Stark said. “Sal was coaching the kids for all the right reasons. He lead by example.”
 The entire Natomas High School football team, score keepers and students he tutored were asked by Heredia-Arriaga’s family to attend the services held this morning at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in downtown Sacramento. Councilman Ray Tretheway sponsored two school buses used to transport more than 80 young people to the church where they were seated in a special section with school staff. 
“Never forget Sal. Always honor his memory,” said Leonard Padilla. “We have so few Sals in this world to remember.” 
All football players wore jerseys over their formal clothes to pay tribute to Heredia-Arriaga who both played for Natomas High School and later coached the junior varsity team. Several speakers, including Padilla, addressed the high schoolers directly throughout the eulogy, bringing a number of players to tears. 
“I see it’s a full house. He loved being the center of attention,” brother Richard Heredia-Arriaga said to much laughter. 
Heredia-Arriaga attended Jefferson Elementary, Natomas Charter and Natomas High. After graduating from UC Santa Cruz, he came back to Natomas to coach and attend law school. Heredia-Arriaga tutored students in Spanish and subbed often at the high school. 
“How can I be sad when I know how many lives my son touched,” mother Sue Heredia said to the standing-room-only crowd in the 1,200-seat cathedral. 
Natomas Unified School District officials report numerous donations already made to a scholarship fund* created in Heredia-Arriaga’s memory. 
*In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions to the Salvador Heredia-Arriaga Memorial Football Scholarship Fund (Natomas High School), c/o Natomas Unified School District, 1901 Arena Blvd., Sacramento, CA 95834.

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