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HONORING RAYN SAN NICOLAS

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By Robert Balajadia

In minutes, the sky filled with colorful balloons horning Rayn San Nicolas. (GSPN photo)

In minutes, the sky filled with colorful balloons horning Rayn San Nicolas. (GSPN photo)

The heroic story of Rayn San Nicolas rescuing his cousins from being consumed by rough waters before being taken himself at 14 years of age is a story that no one could have ever predicted. A year has passed since then, and now, no one will ever forget it.

Sports played a big part in Rayn’s life and the St. Anthony Raiders chose to honor his memory Thursday as the 2013 cross-country season officially kicked off. Each of the Raider runners held colorful balloons that represented Rayn’s colorful personality.

“He is our Rayn-bow,” as Raiders coach Dongman Chang put it in his opening ceremony remarks.

The team, and fellow runners who knew Rayn, let the balloons fly in remembrance of their beloved teammate/friend.

Rayn’s father Glenn San Nicolas was honored by the team’s ceremony and said that the idea mostly came from the students. On notice, San Nicolas made it a priority to take part in the ceremony.

“We’re honored that his memory is still alive and well because he touched a lot of hearts out there. We’re proud of our son and he’s always in our hearts. We kind of figured something like this was coming, we were surprised and a little hesitant at the same time, but the runners who were touched with Rayn’s friendship and presence requested they do it and we made sure to be here.”

St. Anthony Raiders coach Dongman Chang gives a speech about Rayn prior to the start of the race. (GSPN photo)

St. Anthony Raiders coach Dongman Chang gives a speech about Rayn prior to the start of the race. (GSPN photo)

On top of the balloon ceremony, the Raiders have retired Rayn’s cross-country number which was #455.

Rayn was an All-Island top three runner in his days with the Raiders and excelled in soccer and volleyball as well. He was an honor student who was inducted into the National Junior Honor Society and was on his way to Father Duenas to begin what was sure to be a prolific high school sports tenure.

The Raiders painted a collage this year that is posted outside the school that coincidentally had a young boy in a cross-country tank with Rayn’s number #455. It was not intentional, but the number could not have any greater significance to the San Nicolas family. Not that they needed a reminder, but they see Reign in the painting every time they attend services at St. Anthony.

The Raiders will be looking to honor Rayn again come soccer and volleyball season.

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Rayn's father Glenn San Nicolas looks on as coach Chang gives his speech. (GSPN photo)

Rayn’s father Glenn San Nicolas looks on as coach Chang gives his speech. (GSPN photo)

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