ESPN documentary shows Paradise Bobcats' return to the field

For nine months, an ESPN film crew followed Paradise High football players, watching them from the ashes of the Camp Fire to their triumphant return to the field.

Posted: Sep 10, 2019 11:42 PM
Updated: Sep 10, 2019 11:47 PM

PARADISE, Calif. - For nine months, an ESPN film crew followed Paradise High football players, watching them from the ashes of the Camp Fire to their triumphant return to the field.

"We came back strong, and I think we're gonna come back stronger and stronger each year," said Elijah Gould, a football player for the Paradise Bobcats. 

The Paradise High Bobcats is a story of rebuilding and rising up after the Camp Fire.

ESPN's documentary, titled "Paradise, From the Ashes", is about the team's return to campus.

"To us, it's like, of course, we're going to come back, but to them, it's like a huge story," said Rick Prinz, Varsity Coach for the Paradise Bobcats.

The team packed up their gear after Tuesday night practice and watched the documentary together for the first time.

"The big thing I think everybody should take from this is how everybody is persevering. Everyone went through a huge fire and we're here for each other," Gould said.

Nearly one year after the Camp Fire, Coach Prinz still works hard to inspire his players both on and off the field.

Coach Prinz had about 50 players on his team last year and this year, despite him thinking he would have much less, he has about 40 players.

With only three of the players living in Paradise, many are traveling in but the traveling and the memories of the Camp Fire are not holding the players back.

"They do it, not just because of the program, the high school, but because of the community too, you know," said Lukas Hartley, a football player for the Paradise Bobcats.

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