(CNN)The Paradise High School Bobcats had their season stolen from them last year.
The team in Northern California missed the playoffs for reasons out of their control after the Camp Fire destroyed the town of Paradise in the span of two and a half weeks last November.
Now billed as the state's deadliest and most destructive wildfire, the Camp Fire left 85 dead, destroyed almost 13,972 homes, 528 businesses and 4,293 other buildings. It also left all but three of the town's football players homeless, according to Anne Stearns, the school's athletic director.
Some athletes live as far as two hours away and stay with friends during the week to lessen their commute, Stearns told CNN. To the players football is their one constant.
"This is their one safety, their security, their home, their normalcy, their routine," she said.
The Paradise community came together Friday for the team's first game since the fires tore through their town. The Bobcats played the Williams High School Yellow Jackets at home.
"It's a huge Paradise family reunion," Stearns told CNN during the game Friday.
The town of 27,000 loves its football and shuts down every Friday during football season, she said.
"Football is like Paradise's thing like Friday night games you can see your neighbor, they don't even have kids on the team and they are here to support us," Jada Payseno, senior cheer captain, told CNN affiliate KHSL-TV.
The normal attendance for Friday night football at PHS is anywhere between 2,000 and 2,500, but Stearns said Friday's crowd swelled to at least 5,000.
"It shows how strong we are as a community, as a people and how we have become a family. We are rebuilding and nothing will stand in our way. We are coming back fighting," Stearns said.