Nogales community rallies around Cordova family through softball

Softball tournament in Nogales. (Source: Tucson News Now)
Softball tournament in Nogales. (Source: Tucson News Now)
Published: May. 19, 2018 at 2:20 AM MST|Updated: Jun. 1, 2018 at 10:28 PM MST
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NOGALES, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The mood in Nogales Friday evening was a little less somber than it has been the last few weeks.

"It was hard for us and I didn't know him," Wences Ruiz, one of the organizers, told Tucson News Now.

Cheers filled the dugouts, each person rooted for their individual teams, but at the end of the softball tournament, it's not a specific team that will win. It's the entire community.

"You can see in the people. You can see in the enthusiasm of these people having fun, but supporting the tragedy," said Juan Clark, who played in the tournament.

His teammate, Joe Aguirre shared similar sentiments.

"It's been a long time since Nogales has come together as Nogales," Aguirre said. He explained Nogales Strong is the theme after the tragic loss of Officer Jesus Cordova last month.

"I don't wish this upon anyone, you know. Hopefully there's no more losses," Clark told us. He worked in law enforcement, and knew Officer Cordova personally. As a former chaplain, he helped console Cordova's family after the tragedy.

"Seeing their hurt, I also hurt."

This weekend is a time to continue healing for people like Clark and Aguirre, who were hit hard by Cordova's death.

The softball tournament was expected to host eight teams, but it capped at 32.

It goes to show when it comes to support, Nogales knocks it out of the park.

It came as a surprise to organizers like Carlo Garcia, "Overwhelming in a good way," he said.

The idea for this tournament came from Garcia and Ruiz, who never knew Officer Cordova.

"We're all brothers. It doesn't matter what kind of uniform," said Ruiz.

The kind of love shared during this tragedy, Clark said is immeasurable, "I feel very proud as a law enforcement officer."

This year all of the funds from the tournament go to the Cordova family, but next year organizers said they plan to create a scholarship in Jesus Cordova's name.

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