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The message marquis at Baker High School welcomes students back for the 2021-22 school year Monday August 9, 2021, in Baker, La.

A Baker High School football player died Wednesday after falling sick from COVID-19, city officials have confirmed. 

Patrick Sanders, a freshman, was 14 years old.

Baker Police Chief Carl Dunn said the school’s entire football team under quarantine out of an abundance of caution; an upcoming game has been canceled.

Dunn called the student’s death a particularly painful one for the community. “That one hurt,” he said. “That’s a bad one.”

Baker Mayor Darnell Waites echoed the sentiment.

“The loss of such a young life is always a tragedy and the preventable loss of that young life is heartbreaking,” he said in an emailed statement. “Young Mr. Sanders had his entire life ahead of him, one full of ambition and promise. The sorrow I feel for his family and loved ones is immense.”

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He also extended condolences to the boy’s loved ones. 

“To his family, please accept my deepest sympathies and know that my prayers are with you now and always,” he said. “May God heal you in His infinite graces, and bless you with His love.”

East Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome described Patrick’s death as “a heartbreaking loss.”

“Every death from this virus is one met with immense sorrow, especially the passing of a ninth grader from our community,” she said in a written statement. “At this point, every resident of our community has been impacted by COVID-19. This goes to show that even our youngest and most resilient loved ones are at risk. It is my hope that we can come together to prevent further loss.”

She added: “My prayers are with the family, friends and community of Patrick Sanders.”


EMAIL ELYSE CARMOSINO AT ECARMOSINO@THEADVOCATE.COM OR FOLLOW HER ON TWITTER, @ELYSECARMOSINO.