North Bay fires can't take spirit away from Santa Rosa football team

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It's much more than a football game in the North Bay Monday night -- a high school in Sonoma County lost classrooms and sports fields to the deadly fires. (KGO-TV)

It's much more than a football game in the North Bay Monday night -- a high school in Sonoma County lost classrooms and sports fields to the deadly fires.

LIST: Resources for North Bay fires

The Cardinals soared onto the field already feeling accomplished.

"It's awesome," said Cardinal Newman Junior Wide Receiver and Cornerback Chauncey Leberthon. "It's a little bit of normalcy for all of us and we all love this sport. We love playing together. It's just nice to be out here together again."

Well before kickoff against rival Rancho Cotate High School it took extra effort to get the Cardinal Newman football team to Rohnert Park.

"We do unfortunately have six players who lost their homes," said football parent Heather Carinalli. "Some of them lost their jerseys -- some of them didn't. We're just trying to make sure everyone has their jerseys, has a number, and can step on the field tonight."

RELATED: Bay Area teams, athletes join together to support North Bay fire victims

The Tubbs Fire tore through the Cardinal Newman campus in Santa Rosa -- 90 of 620 students lost their homes, like Heather Carinalli's family.

She's just ecstatic to see her son on the field. "When you deal with tragedy like losing your house and losing half of your school, it's nice to be able to pull out any part of normal that you can -- keeping the boys together," Carinalli said.

"I think the best thing for the young men who chose to go to Cardinal Newman is to experience Cardinal Newman and this part of Cardinal Newman High School," said Principal Graham Rutherford.

In the meantime, students go back to school Tuesday at four nearby Parish locations.

"A school community is what exists, a building is not the school -- it's the people," Rutherford added.

Click here for complete coverage of the North Bay fires.

Related Topics:
cal firefirefightersfirefire deathhigh school footballhigh schoolstudentsteacherSanta RosaRohnert Park
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