SANTA CLARA (CBS SF) — Paradise High football star Colby Cline never thought he’d be on the gridiron again with his teammates after his hometown was destroyed and his school’s state playoff hopes dashed by the devastating Camp Fire.
Cline was the team’s senior quarterback and led the Bobcats to an 8-2 regular season record. He and his teammates were preparing for a first-round playoff game against Red Bluff last Friday night.
But the game never happened. The Camp Fire destroyed nearly all of Paradise on Thursday.
On Monday night, the team was back together and on the gridiron once again. They were special guests of the San Francisco 49ers for Monday night’s contest against the New York Giants.
“The team feels super grateful to be here and to be around each other right now,” he said. “Everybody is still in shock. It hasn’t really set in yet that all our homes are gone.”
Cline said the 49ers gesture — providing the team field access, tickets and transportation to the game — meant a great deal to he and his teammates, many who are housed in evacuation shelters.
“It (coming to the game) gives us a chance to not think about it (the fire’s devastating toll) so much and to just have fun and focus on having a good time with each other,” he said.
When asked about his own home, Cline’s voice broke up for a minute.
“My home is gone,” he said. “Everything is just leveled. It’s heart-breaking to know that everything I had in there is gone.”