Paradise H.S. football team 49ers' guests of honor

A high-school football team from Paradise was the special guest Monday night at the San Francisco 49ers game at Levi's Stadium.

The young athletes' lives have been forever changed over the last week, but today there was a return to a little bit of normalcy.

Someone from the school district reached out to the 49ers and the team responded, giving them 68 tickets and a chance to just think about football for the night.

The bus ride to Levi's Stadium was the first time the Paradise High School Football players had seen each other since the fire broke out.

Loren Lighthall, the Paradise High School principal says, "The boys haven't even been together before this event. So they're able to come together. They're able to feel normal. and it's super important to think about something else."

Though the high school still stands, the Camp Fire destroyed their town and burned most of the player's homes.

Colby Cline, one of the Paradise football players says, "It's been rough. We lost our house so we've just been living in a hotel. But just getting to see my friends right now has been really good."

Dylan Blood, another player says, "It's just hard you know losing your house. And having such a great season too and then everything coming to an end with in a day. It all happened so fast."

The football team had been ranked number 1 just a few weeks ago.
But the fire forced them to forfeit the rest of their season. That meant no playoffs.

So when the 49ers offered them tickets to tonight's game plus field access, it was a welcome distraction.

Blood says, "It means a lot. It's a cool experience to come back with all my friends and just enjoy life and take it easy, just get a break from everything that's going on."

And so today there were hugs and even a few smiles from a team that was just grateful to be together.

Lighthall says, "Even though our houses are gone and the town is flattened. One of the worst parts is not having anything to do. No work to go to, no school to go to, no church to go to, no park to go to, no neighborhood to go to. So we can just be together and we can be normal." 

There was a lot of community support here tonight as well with many fans here cheering for the high schoolers when they saw the Paradise jerseys.

As an additional act of charity, the 49ers planned on auctioning their game worn jerseys to support victims of the Camp Fire.