SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A Northern California high school football team is preparing to play for a championship one year after most of the players and coaches lost their homes to a wildfire that nearly destroyed their town.
Paradise High School will face Sutter Union High School on Saturday for the Northern Section Division III championship. The game comes just over a year after a wildfire mostly destroyed the town of Paradise, burning down roughly 19,000 buildings and killing 85 people.
Most of the people who lived in Paradise have moved away. But many have returned on Friday nights to watch the football team’s remarkable season.
Paradise Mayor Jody Jones says the team has come to represent the spirit of the town as it begins to rebuild.