Sladen Mohl honored in memorial at Warrior Field


Joseph Brazil gives a speech at Sladen Mohl’s memorial before Nathaniel Graves, Zach Findlay and Ty Conrad speak sentiments of their own. Sladen Mohl was the Warriors’ starting catcher. Photo credit: Delesia Jackson

Whenever Sladen Mohl walked up to bat during a game, a smile spread across his face.

He was grinning not just because he loved baseball more than anyone his teammates had ever met.

It was because he chose to walk up to home plate with George Michael’s Careless Whisper playing in the background.

“He would always walk up to the batter’s box laughing or trying to hold it back with his classic smirk on his face,” first baseman Nathaniel Draves said at the podium. “Even though we only knew him for almost a year, he’s definitely a part of our hearts forever.”

At a memorial in honor of Sladen Mohl, Draves brought Mohl’s hearty grin to the faces of family, baseball teammates and the El Camino community in attendance during what was an otherwise solemn evening on Monday, April 22.

As reported by The Union, 19-year-old Mohl was killed by a driver suspected of being intoxicated on Thursday, April 18. Mohl was a pedestrian standing on an island when the driver, traveling 60 miles per hour, hit him at the intersection of Sepulveda and Hawthorne Boulevards in Torrance, California.

“I think I can speak for everyone that the second we met [Sladen], we felt that we had known him for a long time,” Draves added at the podium. “Just walking away from the first conversation I had with him, I was like, ‘Wow, what a cool and awesome guy.’”

Sladen Mohl’s family, friends and teammates gather towards center field at the end of the memorial. His family flew in from Alaska to attend the memorial. Photo credit: Rosemary Montalvo

Friends, family and teammates took turns sharing memories and sentiments about Mohl at a podium next to one portrait of him as a toddler and another of him in adolescence.

Mohl was the starting catcher for the Warriors baseball team and was known for his athleticism, facetiousness and grit. Pitcher Joseph Brazil recalled seeing Mohl regularly stay behind after practice just to get three good swings in at the batting cages.

“He’s a special kid,” head coach Nathan Fernley said. “To see the community turn out like they did, I think it was great for our players and for him to know that he is loved.”

More than 100 people attended the memroial in honor of Sladen Mohl including members of opposing baseball teams like Fullerton College and Chaffey College. Head coach Fernley said Mohl touched the lives of everyone around him. Photo Credit: Elena Perez

Mohl is originally from Girdwood, Alaska and began attending EC in the fall 2018 semester. His family flew in from Alaska to attend the memorial. Mohl is survived by four siblings, his mother, and father.

The Mohl family declined to speak with any press.

“I really hope the memorial helps [the Mohl family] settle a little with the thought of his loss,” outfielder Ty Conrad said. “Just having them here at the field and our team showing our support for them and how much we loved Sladen, I think they really appreciated that.”

Conrad was also Mohl’s roommate and recounted bonding with him over binge-watching “The Bachelor” and having long conversations in his car, he added.

Outfielder Ty Conrad talks about Sladen Mohl and reminisces over all the memories he has as Mohl’s teammate and roommate. Mohl’s walk up song to home plate before being at bat was Careless Whisper by George Michael. Photo credit: Jun Ueda

“I thought the memorial was great. I thought we praised Sladen as he should be,” Conrad said. “We look at everything on the bright side and I think after this we’ll remember everything good about Sladen.”

Members of opposing baseball teams also came out to the memorial including players from Chaffey College and Fullerton College who were seen in the bleachers.

A Gofundme page was organized for Mohl’s family.