H-SAN LUIS OBISPO

Sep 20, 2011 1:55 AM by Shelby Rhodes

San Luis Obispo High athletes rally behind injured Oxnard player

San Luis Obispo High School football players walked with heavy hearts Monday night, as one of their opponents remained in the ICU with a head injury from Friday night's game.

Adrian Padilla was playing for Oxnard High School against the San Luis Obispo Tigers when he had a concussion. His parents say he underwent emergency surgery at Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center.

A vigil was held Monday for the senior safety. Dozens of people came out, providing proof the Central Coast will stand behind Padilla every step of the way.

"It's important for high school athletes to understand that sometimes kids think they are invincible, and at any moment, things can change." said Leslie O'Connor, principal of San Luis Obispo High School.

Wearing number 25 for the Yellow Jackets, Padilla was doing what he loved to do. Playing football for Oxnard High School against San Luis Obispo. Now in his time of need off the field, the Central Coast is rallying behind the 6'1'', 175 pound senior.

"It is amazingly refreshing in a way to see that outpouring of support from a smaller community and it really speaks volumes for the San Luis High School community and also the community at large in San Luis." said O'Connor.

For supporters, comfort comes in numbers. Or writing a message to Padilla, letting him know he has plenty of support on and off the sidelines. On and off his own roster.

It is not just the athlete that Padilla's supporters are saying a prayer for.

"This prayer vigil is really to support the family," said Amy Kardel, mother of a San Luis Obispo High School football player and organizer of the vigil. "We really as parents all love our kids and we want to show that support to someone else's family too."

Athletes, coaches, educators and football moms showing teamwork, knowing it could have been anyone's jersey on Friday night.

"We are all so fragile. Danger is around every corner for our kids. As a mom we just pray for them that they're safe." said Kardel.

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