Friday night, throughout the region, many of our local high schools were supposed to be playing in the 3rd round of the section football playoffs but, as we know, the bad air quality due to the Camp Fire postponed all the games until next weekend.
The Casa Roble Rams out of Orangevale though, aren't just dealing with being prepared for their next opponent; they have also adopted the Paradise High football team, who had to forfeit their playoff game because of the wildfire.
As football fields across the section were empty tonight, the hearts of Casa Roble high players have been spilling over with human kindness from what came about less than a week ago.
A team video shows the Rams inviting the Paradise Bobcats to their playoff game.
“Hey Paradise, we're the Casa Roble High football team. We just beat Patterson and we're moving on to Vanden. We understand your lives have been turned upside-down by the fire. We openly want to invite you to our next playoff game against Vanden where you'll be our guest of honor.”
The idea actually originated in the stands last Friday night where Michelle Horner, wife of Rams head coach Chris Horner, started putting the pieces together.
“As I heard some other people in the background, some other parents having the same thoughts. So, I realized the commitment would be there if we started the charge,” said Michelle Horner.
The Rams not only invited the Paradise Bobcats to their next game, they began a donation drive.
“They need money. They need gift cards and money. That's the biggest need,” said Chris Horner.
So, with the help of Snap-Raise, the team set a goal of $15,000 and will personally deliver the funds to on Tuesday.
“We're taking 60 kids, rolling up there with a handful of coaches and have a meet-n-greet,” said Chris Horner.
Robbie Squire, Senior Lineman said, “I hope we can give those boys a smile, because from what I understand they haven't smiled in a while.”
A smile too and a sense of pride for the Casa Roble Rams, who will be wearing specific stickers on their helmets as a reminder to their act of kindness.
“You have your helmet in your hands right before the game and you see that sticker and you put it on, and you think ‘I’m lucky to have what I have,’” said lineman Brad Rankin.
Wide Receiver, Alex Stelmaszczyk added, “I think the stickers commemorate that in saying that ‘it's not all about us.’ We have to think about other people.
“And to show our football players that there is something bigger than football out there right now, and they can do some good and mold these young men into better young men,” Chris Horner said.
There certainly won’t be any question about that or the impact their donations and invitation will have on the Paradise high football team.