It’s almost as if Conrad Murphy is with his teammates.
Murphy, who is at Palomar Medical Center in critical condition, is listed as the starting left fielder on Valley Center High School's lineup card for their Monday afternoon game against San Dieguito Academy.
Valley Center coach Cliff Bernard says Murphy's name will be announced and when his team takes the field.
There will not be a left fielder -- the position Murphy would have been playing.
Meanwhile, all of the players are wearing Murphy's number nine on their hats and helmets. Some have his initials scribbled on adhesive tape. Others are wearing eye-black stickers with a “9” on them.
Murphy, a well-liked senior outfielder and pitcher, was seriously injured in a head-on collision on eastbound Highway 76 near Gird Road in San Luis Rey Heights about 7 a.m. Saturday. He was airlifted to Palomar Medical Center.
A 37-year-old Oceanside man in a Ford ranger carrying pest-control chemicals crashed into Murphy. The truck was traveling westbound when it lost traction, causing it to break into eastbound traffic and collide with Murphy’s silver Dodge Ram truck.
The team voted to play Monday’s game to honor Murphy.
The vote wasn't unanimous, but the coach said they elected to play after getting the blessing of Murphy's family.
One parent said the team is clearly and understandably subdued. He said the reality of the accident started to sink in during school and that Murphy's absence was significant.