Junipero Serra High School’s powerhouse football team, the Padres, are supposed to open their 2021 regular season on Friday against another powerhouse, the Pittsburg Pirates. But the game is going to be a dud (if it happens at all), because, as the Mercury News reported on Thursday, a “significant” number of Padres players have been ruled out due to close contact with a student who tested positive for COVID-19.
This is the fault of many people at Serra, a Catholic private school in San Mateo — but primarily, it’s the fault of Patrick Walsh, Serra’s football coach. Walsh has been a leading proponent of the “Let Them Play” initiative, which was an especially vocal group in pre-vaccine times about the negative effects of not playing sports, and how those negative effects outweigh concerns about the potential for community spread during football season. Walsh has desperately wanted high school athletes to play sports again.