mcloudy.png
Sunday December 8th, 2019 2:10PM

California high school competes for title after deadly fire

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

PARADISE, Calif. (AP) — A Northern California high school football team has lost in a championship game one year after a deadly fire destroyed most of their town, including the homes of most players and coaches.

Paradise High School lost to Sutter Union High School 20-7 on Saturday night in the Northern Section Division III championship game. The game comes just over one year the fire in Paradise burned roughly 19,000 buildings and killed 85 people.

Paradise coach Rick Prinz told the team after the game he was proud of his players.

“I don’t want to see it end yet. They are keeping our town alive,” said Amber Blood, whose son Dylan plays on the team. “It feels like the town is alive when the games are happening. It feels like nothing has happened.”

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.

The high school has a football tradition, consistently fielding competitive teams. The school produced Jeff Maehl, a wide receiver who played for the University of Oregon in the 2011 BCS national championship game and later played for two NFL teams.

Last year, the school was 8-2 and preparing to host a home playoff game when the wildfire swept through the town. The school survived, but nearly every player and coach on the team lost their homes. The team forfeited the playoff game, ending their season.

The team almost didn’t have a 2019 season. In January, Prinz had just 22 players left from what had been a 56-man roster. The school had relocated to an office building by an airport, and without a field to practice on the team ran plays on a gravel lot.

But the players were determined to play.

Erica Browe, 38, lost her home in the fire. She now lives in Redding. At first, her two teenage sons went to a new school. But she said they were miserable and their grades suffered. They now live in Paradise with some friends so they can attend their old high school and play football.

Returning to Paradise made a big difference in her sons’ lives, she said, and the team’s success encouraged the community nestled along a ridge in the Sierra Nevada foothills.

“It gives hope back to the ridge that we can still be strong and stick together,” she said.

Paradise High School finished the regular season undefeated, outscoring their opponents by a combined score of 469-73. But their magical season ended Saturday on a rainy, cold night.

After Suzanne White and her family lost their home in the fire, they lived in a rented trailer on a walnut orchard for three months. They had no sewer system, so they used an outhouse and had to drive a quarter mile to use a shower.

White’s son, Blake, is the team’s starting center. She said the players and coaches know how much they mean to the town.

“They knew that they were holding paradise in their hands,” she said.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Football, AP National News, AP Business, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Agriculture
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
California high school competes for title after deadly fire
A Northern California high school football team has lost its bid for a championship one year after a deadly fire destroyed most of their town and most of the players and coaches lost their homes
12:20AM ( 22 minutes ago )
Powerful storm pushes into Midwest with heavy snow and winds
A powerful and dangerous storm is moving eastward, dumping heavy snow and rains round the country from parts of California to the northern Midwest
11:13PM ( 1 hour ago )
Authorities: 2 kids dead, 1 missing after truck swept away
The bodies of two children were found Saturday, but authorities are still searching for a third child who went missing after a truck they were in was swept away while attempting to cross a runoff-swollen creek in the Tonto National Forest in Arizona
10:16PM ( 2 hours ago )
U.S. News
Relic thought to be from Jesus’ manger arrives in Bethlehem
A tiny wooden relic some Christians believe to have been part of Jesus' manger has returned to its permanent home in the biblical city of Bethlehem 1,400 years after it was sent to Rome as a gift to the pope
12:30AM ( 12 minutes ago )
At least 14 dead in Mexico gunbattle near Texas border
At least 14 people died after Mexican security forces engaged in an hour-long gun battle with suspected cartel gunmen in the town of Villa Unión, in the state of Coahuila, about an hour’s drive southwest of Eagle Pass, Texas
12:27AM ( 15 minutes ago )
Kuithe's 3 TDs lifts No. 6 Utah past Colorado 45-15
Brant Kuithe scored three touchdowns and No. 6 Utah is locked up a spot in the Pac-12 championship game for the second consecutive season with a 45-15 victory over Colorado on Saturday night
12:19AM ( 24 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Harden scores 60 in 31 minutes, Rockets rout Hawks 158-111
James Harden scored a season-high 60 points in three quarters and the Houston Rockets routed the struggling Atlanta Hawks to send them to their 10th straight loss with a 158-111 win on Saturday night
11:30PM ( 1 hour ago )
Kuithe's 3 TDs lifts No. 6 Utah past Colorado 45-15
Brant Kuithe scored three touchdowns and No. 6 Utah is locked up a spot in the Pac-12 championship game for the second consecutive season with a 45-15 victory over Colorado on Saturday night
11:21PM ( 1 hour ago )
Ovechkin gets hat trick with 2 empty-netters, Caps top Wings
Alex Ovechkin completed a hat trick with two empty-net goals and the Washington Capitals beat Detroit 5-2 for the Red Wings’ ninth straight loss
10:55PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Sports
No. 2 Ohio State beats No. 10 Michigan 56-27 for record run
J.K. Dobbins ran for four touchdowns and Justin Fields finished with four touchdown passes, providing plenty of firepower for No. 2 Ohio State to rout No. 10 Michigan 56-27 for a school-record eighth straight win in the series
7:38PM ( 5 hours ago )
Charges filed in stabbing of ex-Ohio State QB Terrelle Pryor
Authorities say a woman has been charged with attempted homicide in a Pittsburgh stabbing that critically injured former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor, who also faces a charge
5:49PM ( 6 hours ago )
Broncos activate Lock off IR, don’t name him starter
The Denver Broncos have activated rookie quarterback Drew Lock off injured reserve
5:25PM ( 7 hours ago )
AP Online Football
China accuses UN rights chief of inflaming Hong Kong unrest
China has accused the U.N. high commissioner for human rights of emboldening “radical violence” in Hong Kong by suggesting the city’s leader conduct an investigation into reports of excessive use of force by police
11:06PM ( 1 hour ago )
July 25 forecast: Sunny, with cloud of impeachment for Trump
If there was one day that crystallized all the forces that resulted in the impeachment investigation of President Donald Trump, it was July 25
11:00PM ( 1 hour ago )
Century ago and today, Baghdad street a front line in revolt
Baghdad’s Rasheed Street was the scene of large marches by Iraqis against British occupiers nearly a century ago and now it’s a front line in a new revolt
10:37PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP National News
Dutch police arrest suspect in stabbing of 3 teens
Dutch police arrested a 35-year-old homeless man Saturday on suspicion of stabbing three teens on a street in The Hague that was crowded with Black Friday shoppers
12:38PM ( 12 hours ago )
Climate activists invade east German coal mines in protest
Hundreds of climate activists protested at two open-pit coal mines in eastern Germany pouring onto the premises to urge the government to immediately halt the use of coal to produce electricity
10:50AM ( 13 hours ago )
Iran opposition leader compares supreme leader to shah
A website long associated with detained opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi has quoted him as comparing a crackdown on protesters under Iran’s supreme leader to another carried out under the country’s ousted shah
10:44AM ( 13 hours ago )
AP Business
PG&E says blackouts limited fires despite 1 likely failure
The nation’s largest utility said its distribution lines haven’t sparked any major wildfires since it began shutting off power to Northern California customers during periods of high fire risk
7:28PM ( 1 day ago )
US stocks close out half-day session with broad losses
Stocks fell broadly on Wall Street Friday following a shortened trading session a day after the Thanksgiving holiday that left the market slightly below its record highs
3:19PM ( 1 day ago )
Evacuation order lifted as huge Texas plant fire ‘contained’
Authorities in Texas say a massive chemical plant fire that rocked a Gulf Coast town with two major explosions is finally considered contained after two days
1:44PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Business - Industries
No more menthol cigarettes: New ban on tobacco, vape flavors
Massachusetts has become the first state with a permanent ban on the sale of flavored tobacco and vaping products, including menthol cigarettes
5:08PM ( 3 days ago )
Fed survey finds US economy expanding despite trade fallout
Fed survey finds economy expanding but manufacturers still dealing with trade war fallout
2:27PM ( 3 days ago )
From modest beginnings, Washington now a force in wine world
Washington has become a force in the wine industry
1:27AM ( 3 days ago )
AP Business - Agriculture
Powerful storm pushes into Midwest with heavy snow and winds
A powerful and dangerous storm is moving eastward, dumping heavy snow and rains round the country from parts of California to the northern Midwest
11:25PM ( 1 hour ago )
Authorities: 2 kids dead, 1 missing after truck swept away
The bodies of two children were found Saturday, but authorities are still searching for a third child who went missing after a truck they were in was swept away while attempting to cross a runoff-swollen creek in the Tonto National Forest in Arizona
10:16PM ( 2 hours ago )
Wintry weather bedevils holiday weekend travelers around US
Wintry weather is bedeviling Thanksgiving weekend travelers across the United States as a powerful and dangerous storm moves eastward, dumping heavy snow and rains round the country from parts of California to the northern Midwest
6:56PM ( 5 hours ago )
Fiat Chrysler, auto union reach tentative deal on contract
The United Auto Workers and Fiat Chrysler have reached a tentative agreement on a new four-year contract
12:53PM ( 11 hours ago )
California high school competes for title after deadly fire
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
12:30PM ( 12 hours ago )