Sylmar Coach Tom Richards said he will miss Friday's pivotal Pac 8 game against Venice because he will be in the hospital with a bad back.
"In 29 years of coaching, this will be the first time I ever missed a practice or a game," Richards said from his bed at Holy Cross Hospital in Woodland Hills.
Richards was hospitalized Monday after aggravating a nerve in his lower back during last Friday's 9-7 win over Poly. Sylmar could clinch a City Section 2-A playoff spot with a win at home over Venice.
Physicians have advised Richards to stay in bed four to 10 days or face surgery.
"The only way I could make it to the Venice game is in a wheelchair, and that would be just before the kickoff," Richards said. "I guess it could be one of those 'win-it-for-the-Gipper' things."