SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Flames from the Caldor fire are raging towards their own field, but Lake Tahoe football teams have a lot to play for.
Lake Tahoe Community College football teams say they won’t let the fire hold them back. They evacuated last week and are now locked in a Sacramento hotel.
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Coach Jeremy Evans calls it “Tahoe on Tour”. It has been twenty months since his teams have played, now they are forced to use their talents on the road, vowing to continue the season despite the fire threatening their territory.
On Tuesday, the Lake Tahoe Coyotes seized the training space at American River College, after being forced out of their field by the threat of fire.
For Coach Evans, he says the magic is in “the details”, telling his team to focus on the little moments on the pitch.
These moments give his players, like first year Hannia Medina, a distraction from what’s going on at home. His hometown is South Lake Tahoe.
“I’m very devastated, it’s nothing less than a tragedy, it’s my home, it’s all I’ve ever known,” Medina said.
Coach Evans knew the evacuation order was coming to campus.
Covid cut the entire season last year, he says he was determined to find a way to let this team play.
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“I’m not going to let a fire deprive them of what could be an incredible student-athlete experience,” said coach Evans.
So he started to work on a backup plan. He told his students to take whatever they could, and they left.
For some players, it didn’t feel real.
“Whatever you left behind, you can’t go back because you can’t go back,” she said.
He found a hotel in Sacramento and took them by bus, not knowing where they would return. The team will play in Sacramento and Los Angeles this week, but after that, Coach Evans has no answer.
“We’re just trying to live in the present moment because the reality is that the long-term moment doesn’t look great for Lake Tahoe,” Evans said.
Living in the moment and day in and day out, whether they win or lose, they know why they are playing.
“Especially in Tahoe right now, hope is pretty big,” Evans said.
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