Ceremony remembers Pollinger, Rocque

B y Derek Liebig

Two young men whose lives ended too early were remembered during a special ceremony at the Recreation Center fields Thursday evening.

In a brief, but emotional ceremony, the Whitehall Youth League honored Cole Rocque and Tommy Pollinger, both of whom died unexpectedly earlier this year.

The Rocque family received a plaque featuring a picture of each Youth League dedicated in memory of Cole.

A similar plaque was made for the Pollingers, who declined an invitation to attend.

After a few words by league president  John Hoagland, who helped organize the event, members of the Youth League’s senior teams lined up along the first and third base foul lines and looked on as Kendra Rocque, Cole’s younger sister, threw out the ceremonial first pitch surrounded by family.

Displaying courage and an infectious smile, Kendra’s throw bounced over home plate and landed squarely in the catcher’s glove.

Time will tell if the throw provides any closure or aids in the healing process, but according to family it was a significant gesture on her part.

“We are very proud of her for doing this,” said Tobe Corcoran who is married to Cole’s mother Joyce. “It’ been hard because it was her big brother, its something that will affect us all of our lives.”

The ceremony was a time for memories and reflection.

Prior to the ceremony, friends and family of Rocque gathered in the parking lot and fondly recalled memories of Cole, such as the time he and his teammates danced to the “Thong Song” during practice before Hoagland, who coached both Rocque and Pollinger on his all-star teams, restored order.

The ceremony was also an educational opportunity for the kids, many of whom showed up to play a game, but perhaps learned a little about life in the process.

“We’re doing this to raise awareness. We want them to know if they are having a problem they can come to us,” Hoagland said.

Throughout the course of the season every team in the Youth League has worn patches with Rocque’s and Pollinger’s initials on the sleeves of their uniform.

Pollinger, a 2010 graduate of Whitehall High School, passed away in February, and Rocque, a 2008 graduate, died a little more than a month later.

Both young men were popular students at the school and were involved in athletics.

“If this helps just one kid, then it’s had a positive impact,” Hoagland said.

Comments

comments

Read more in this week's Times in newsstands now or click here to read right now with our e-edition.

Tags: , , ,

North Country Freepress – 01/19/18

FreePress_1_19_18.pdf-web.pdf

Lakes Region Freepress – 01/19/18

Lakes_1_19_18.pdf-web.pdf

Northshire Freepress – 01/19/18

Northshire_1_19_18.pdf-web.pdf

Weekender – 01/19/18

Weekender 1_19_18.pdf-web.pdf

Flat Iron: Village misses grant deadline

Flat Iron

By Matthew Saari A Restore New York grant that could’ve potentially funded the demolition of the blighted Flat Iron building […]

Codie made the team!

bascue

By Matthew Saari It’s official – Whitehall’s Codie Bascue will be competing in the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea. […]

Four years later, search continues for missing man

Jonathan Schaff

By Krystle S. Morey A steady flow of new leads and cooperation from witnesses have kept a 4-year-old missing person […]

Armstrong to run for village trustee

George Armstrong

By Matthew Saari “Everything is on the table; nothing is off the table when looking to cut costs.” That’s former […]

Freezing, flood wreak havoc

whitehallflood4

By Matthew Saari and Krystle Morey Only in the Northeast can communities have 50-degree weather and torrential rains one day, […]

Weekender – 01/12/18

Weekender 1_12_18.pdf-web.pdf

North Country Freepress – 01/12/18

FreePress_1_12_18.pdf-web.pdf

Lakes Region Freepress – 01/12/18

Lakes_1_12_18.pdf-web.pdf