In a game that played out like a Hollywood movie, the plotline of Serra’s (San Mateo, Calif.) 24-21 win over De La Salle (Concord, Calif.) was fitting and straightforward: The student became the teacher.
Head coach Patrick Walsh has been part of the Serra Padres’ program since 2001, with plenty of accolades earned during that time—from a CIF State championship to Coach of the Year honors to multiple WCAL, CCS and NorCal championships.
But none of the accomplishments included beating Northern California power De La Salle, which happens to be where Coach Walsh went to high school.
And not only did he go there, but Walsh also excelled there.
In three seasons, his team went 38-1, the origins of the infamous Spartans’ dynasty that would end at 151 straight victories over 11 years. For his part, Walsh racked up over 4,000 yards with 70 touchdowns during his time with the Spartans— a tenure that included being named one of the California High School Players of the year in 1992.
On top of that, he was also class valedictorian in 1993.
His football journey moved on to college and would eventually come full circle to De La Salle. This time as a coach, a position he held until the 2001 season when he joined Serra.
Some two decades later—and zero wins against his alma mater—the 2022 Padres looked at a chip-shot field goal, after coming back from 17 points down in the second half, to make history: To defeat the De La Salle Spartans.
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