Not long after Governor Gavin Newsom conducted a press conference on Friday in which the highlight was the announcement of new youth sports guidelines, leaders of the Golden State Football Coaches Community and the Let Them Play CA group met with the media to provide their reaction. Football wasn’t just a focus for the leaders of the two groups, but Newsom also was joined at his event by NFL standout Arik Armstead of the San Francisco 49ers (Elk Grove Pleasant Grove) and NFL QB Josh Johnson (Oakland Tech).
Here are select comments from those speaking at the second press conference:
Patrick Walsh (Serra, San Mateo)
This is a massive first step. We’ve been overwhelmed with love and gratitude. We know we’ve been a pain in the neck (to Gov. Newsom and to chief of staff Jim DeBoo) but we knew if we pushed hard and were organized that good would happen. (The state guidelines) should be the bar. If that happens (with a county going against them), they will feel a lot of pushback.
Ron Gladnick (Torrey Pines, San Diego)
We’re excited to reach this place. What a great lesson for kids. We’ve all got to tell our players that when something is important is that you try. Also want to thank Governor Newsom and Jim DeBoo. It would have been just as easy for them not to listen to us. Even with all of the things they have to deal with, they still worked with us. We know that indoor sports isn’t there yet, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get there.”
Justin Alumbaugh (De La Salle, Concord)
I haven’t seen that many smiles from our players in 11 months. I would have never thought that three meathead football coaches could get ahold of them, but they met with us and they listened to us.
Brad Hensley (Let Them Play CA)
It’s not perfect, but we need to celebrate today. I’ve never seen a bunch of guys work as tirelessly as these guys. It’s not just the football coaches, but all of the youth advocates. On December 31, we were just a group of three people (on Facebook) and now we’re up to 60,000. Very early on, we vowed not to go at it from a negative standpoint. We stayed true to that. The job isn’t done. Know that the conversations are going to continue.