Woods, a former Bear who went on to sign with the San Francisco Giants, died unexpectedly in May of 2015 at age 68.

Mount Shasta High School baseball players and alumni gathered at Martindale Field’s pitching mound during a break in Friday evening’s downpour to write messages on blue and gold balloons to late coach Gary Woods. All together, they released the balloons in the air, which rose rapidly into the stormy sky, shrinking to pinpricks then disappearing altogether.

The fifth annual Gary Woods Memorial Alumni Game was the senior project of Hunter Stock and Baltazar Rodriguez. They carried on the tradition of remembering and honoring Woods, who coached the Bears for four years from 2011-2015, first as an assistant coach and later as head coach.

Woods, a former Bear who went on to sign with the San Francisco Giants, died unexpectedly in May of 2015 at age 68.

The first memorial game, held soon after Woods’ death, and attended by nearly 200 people. Since then, MSHS senior baseball players kept the tradition rolling. Throughout the season, the Bears don hats with GW embroidered on the side.

During Friday’s game, the seniors who will graduate this week made their first appearance on the alumni team along with players of the past. The Bears of the future inhabited the home dugout.

After seven enthusiastic innings in sometimes drenching rain, the game ended in a 5-5 tie.

After the balloon release ceremony, a cornhole set, painted in bright blue and gold colors, was raffled off. Bears head coach Chuck Mahan was the lucky winner.