PARADISE, Calif. -- After losing his home, chances at a playoff run and most of his town, senior football player Lukas Hartley just wants to move forward.
“I didn’t want to leave," said Hartley. "This is literally where I grew up my whole life and I was watching it catch on fire.”
After the Camp Fire Lukas relocated to Oregon. But, wanted to come back when he found his school survived and his football team was looking to rebuild. He says the sacrifices he makes on a daily basis is worth it.
"There's nothing normal about waking up every single day and driving 40 minutes to school living in an apartment, that’s not normal for any of us," said Hartley.
Hartley travels from Chico to Paradise High School. He says most, if not all his lunch money goes to gas.
"Without football there’s no point in me doing anything else. Football has been my support, my backbone, my motivation through all of this, just like a lot of these kids," said Hartley.
Hartley hopes Paradise's first football game is a step close to normalcy.
“Im excited, honestly. I feel really honored to represent everyone. There’s a lot of people that I think about when I think about Friday night," said Hartley. "I think everyone has this unspoken feeling that we have a task that we all know we need to handle.”
“Everyone’s for sure nervous because there’s a lot riding on this, but I think when the first hit happens… [it'll be like a normal Friday night football game in Paradise].”
"Everyone wants to get back to being a regular high school kid. It gets old telling the victim story. Nobody wants to tell the victim story, everybody wants to tell the story of moving forward," said Hartley.