Oceanside High School paid tribute to Junior Seau Friday at the school's football home opener. NBC 7's Nicole Gonzales speaks to Seau's fans and family about his legacy.
Oceanside High School paid tribute to Junior Seau Friday night at their football home opener by holding a special moment of silence for the late hometown hero.
“This past May, the Pirates as well as the community of Oceanside lost one of its loved ones,” said Seau’s cousin, Paul Pao Pao, over the loudspeaker at the game.
Signs of Seau were everywhere.
The Charger icon’s No. 55 was displayed on the players’ helmets, while fans in the stands – including Pao Pao – sported hats bearing Seau’s signature jersey number.
Seau is someone Oceanside will never forget. The NFL legend devoted much of his time and resources throughout his life to helping the community.
Fans at the game Friday night remembered Seau’s legacy and generosity.
“The legend goes on. No matter what, it’s going to go on. He’s big in the community,” said fan Pete Quinene.
“The spirit he had for the sport, for the local kids and community was amazing,” added local Casey Bennett.
Fan Vaughn Murphy remembered the impact Seau had on local children.
“Especially with the Boys Club -- he got a lot of equipment for the underprivileged kids. He's got his own center, the Junior Seau Center. That's good. It keeps the little guys off the streets,” said Murphy.
In May, the NFL legend took his own life at his home along the Strand in Oceanside.
Immediately following his suicide, devoted fans flocked to his home and Seau’s Restaurant in Mission Valley to pay their respects.
On Sept. 1 Seau’s alma mater, the University of Southern California, honored him at their opening football game with a special message stenciled along the sidelines that read “#RIP 55.”
On Friday night Seau’s cousin, who served as the announcer for the Oceanside High School football game, reminded people that Seau’s spirit is always present, especially within the local youth.
“To know that he's not here physically, but he's still here in some type of way of motivation and inspiration,” said Pao Pao.