Jonathan Côté with his mom, Candice. Côté passed away Tuesday after a battle with cancer. (File photo)

Former Triton, Blue Jay remembered by baseball community

Jonathan Côté passed away Tuesday after a battle with cancer

Former White Rock Tritons and North Delta Blue Jays pitcher Jonathan Côté was a fearless competitor and a great teammate, according to one of his former coaches.

Côté – who turned 22 years old three weeks ago – passed away Tuesday morning after a battle with cancer. News of his passing quickly spread throughout the BC Premier Baseball League community, and the Blue Jays announced the news online Wednesday.

Mike Hughes, the head coach of the White Rock Tritons, was an assistant coach with the Blue Jays during Côté’s time there, and remembered the pitcher as a battler, who wanted to be on the mound, with ball in his hand, at every opportunity.

“No matter what – no questions asked – he wanted the ball,” Hughes said. “He was a great teammate, just a really great kid.

“In coaching, you get pretty close to these kids – you’re with them 30 hours a week during the season, and they become like your own kids… when something like this happens to someone so young, it just shows you that there’s bigger things out there than baseball.”

Hughes noted Côté beat cancer once, and even returned to the ball diamond for one season – he played at Otero Junior College in Colorado after graduating from the BCPBL, and also spent time at Colorado Mesa University. In 2016, however, he was diagnosed with medulloblastoma, a form of brain cancer that is extremely rare in adults.

On Twitter, his former Colorado teammate Cameron Johnson wrote that “Heaven gained another perfect soul this morning.”

Jonathan Côté, my friend, my brother, you always seemed to put smiles of the faces of others, especially mine,” he continued. “Although I’m heartbroken, I know you’re in a better place. Until I see you, fly high Canada.”

After one PBL season with the White Rock Tritons, Côté moved to play in his hometown with the Jays, and in his senior season set a record that Hughes doubts will be broken anytime soon – he was the first pitcher to lead the league in both strikeouts and walks.

“I used to call him effectively wild,” Hughes remembered.

“He played baseball like he lived his life – he was fearless.”

On Sunday at South Surrey Athletic Park, before a planned doubleheader against the Victoria Mariners, Hughes’ Tritons will honour Côté’s memory with a moment of silence. The Mariners are no strangers to tragedy themselves, Hughes pointed out – two years ago, a Mariners player, Zack Downey, also passed away after a battle with cancer.

Just Posted

Fire destroys home in Surrey

Crews called at 3 a.m. Sunday for a residential house fire on the 12000-block of 100 Avenue

Art show to be held at White Rock’s Jan’s on the Beach

Art to be displayed until the end of December

New detox centre opens in South Surrey

WhiteRock EHN opened in response to opioid crisis

VIDEO: Surrey hair salon joins sustainability initiative

Hair can be used to create boom to clean up oil spills: Green Circle Salons

REPLAY: B.C’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week across the province

Children between 6 and 9 eligible for $1,200 RESP grant from province

BC Ministry of Education is reminding residents to apply before the deadline

Victoria spent $30,000 to remove John A. Macdonald statue

Contentious decision sparked controversy, apology from mayor

Privacy concerns over credit card use for legal online pot purchases

Worries follow privacy breaches at some Canadian cannabis retailers

Vancouver Police look for man in connection to ‘sexually motivated’ assault

Woman says man followed her into an apartment building

NEB approves operating pressure increase to repaired Enbridge pipeline

The pipeline burst outside of Prince George on Oct. 9, now operating at 85 per cent

B.C. VIEWS: Setting speed limits in a post-fact political environment

Media prefer ‘speed kills’ narrative, even when it fails to appear

Controversy erupts over Japanese flag in B.C. classroom

Online petition demanding removal has collected more than 5,700 signatures

Most Read

l -->