WORCESTER (CBS) – Members of the Worcester Police Department were in attendance at a Little League game Sunday morning to cheer for the son of Enmanuel “Manny” Familia, who drowned last week trying to save a 14-year-old boy.
Familia drowned Friday afternoon at Green Hill Pond in Worcester.
Three children began to struggle while swimming. Five officers immediately jumped into the water. Two of the teenagers were rescued, but Familia and 14-year-old Troy Love both drowned.
On Sunday, Familia’s son, Jovan Familia, had a Little League game at George Mooney Park. He took the field at shortstop, wearing his No. 5 jersey.
Jovan rounded the bases in a make-or-break playoff game that was more than baseball…it was family support.
The coach for Familia’s son said it was important to the boy that he play Sunday to honor his father.
“We’re trying our best to rally around Jo, and I told him not only now, but next 50 years basically,” said Coach Ed Riley.
Part of that family is his Elite Little League Team, the U-12 Runbirds, and the dozens of Worcester Police Officers who came to show their support. If Jovan’s father couldn’t be there to watch the talented shortstop, they made sure they were.
“Must be very tough. I can’t imagine, honestly. The love that he had for his son. We would talk every night about it,” Worcester police officer Jonathan Daige.
Familia came to all of his son’s baseball games, even recently leaving the overnight shift and changing to a day shift so he could attend games.
“That was basically his whole life, ever since he was little. He’s been training him and he’s basically never missed a game,” said family member Jose Barrera.
Manny Familia wouldn’t get to see his son and his team advance in the playoff with a 6-4 win. The young boy dealing with immense tragedy who wanted to be there for his team as they are for him.