Former longtime Merced College assistant coach John Lema (left) died on Tuesday. Lema is joined in the photo from left to right by Glenn Nobbe, Chris Pedretti, David Cardoza and Derek Peterson. PHOTO SUBMITTED BY NATE DEVINE MERCED COLLEGE
‘It’s an absolute gut-punch.’ Death of longtime coach hits Merced County coaches hard.
The Merced County baseball family mourned the death of longtime coach John Lema on Tuesday.
Lema coached for more than 40 years, helping out as an assistant at Atwater and Livingston High Schools and also coaching for over 20 years at Merced College.
“One of the best human beings I’ve ever been around,” said former Merced College baseball coach Chris Pedretti.
Lema went in for heart surgery on June 4, but his body never recovered from the surgery, according to his son Johnny Lema. He died on Tuesday. He was 90 years
old and survived by his kids Danny Lema, Carol Sanchez and Johnny.