PARADISE, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on the first high school football game since a devastating wildfire in a Northern California town (all times local):
Paradise defeated Williams High School 42-0 at Om Wraith Field on Friday in front of thousands of people that packed the stadium.
For many, it was one of the few times they have returned to the Northern California town since a wildfire destroyed nearly 19,000 buildings and killed 86 people.
The football team had 56 members last year. This year, it has 35 because so many of the students have had to move away. Most of those who remain have to commute from nearby towns.
Sixty-seven-year-old Linda Davis had been living with her mom in Paradise when their home was destroyed in the fire. She says it was good to see everybody happy again for a change.
A high school football team in a Northern California town that was mostly destroyed by a wildfire is a year ago is playing its first game since the blaze.
The Paradise High School Bobcats are scheduled to play Williams High School on Friday. It’s their first time back since a wildfire destroyed nearly 19,000 buildings and killed 86 people in November 2018.
Head Coach Rick Prinz said the team has 35 players, down from 56 last year as the school has lost nearly half of its students who were forced to move away.
School officials said they expect about 5,000 people to attend the game. The team will enter the field through the home stands, led by last year’s seniors who never got to play in their final game.