Brothers to the Bone: Brenden Moon

Brenden Moon, the running back for Paradise High School’s football team, has had a vastly different experience from some of his teammates. Throughout it all, the love he has for football has kept him going, and inspired others on his team. 

Photo courtesy of Brenden Moon

He believes that football has brought the school, team, and community closer after the fire. In the fall of 2018, he watched as his hometown burned down. He was in the car with a teammate, unable to move, watching everything go up in flames. Luckily, his teammate was able to drive them to safety, and they lived to see another day. 

In the period following, he moved from house to house for two months before he was able to return to his foster parents’ partially-destroyed home. Other boys on the team were also forced to live with extended family, or move two to three times over the course of a year, just so they could continue to play on the football team. 

Throughout the chaos of being displaced for months on end, Moon participated in spring training and eventually summer training. He didn’t miss a single practice, a sign of his devotion to the game and his teammates. 

Photo courtesy of Brenden Moon

However, during the regular season, he began to miss time, and his coaches were immediately suspicious. Little did they know that Brenden’s private life had just gone from bad to worse.

The morning before their third game, the team was told the news: Brenden’s biological mother had passed away. The three days he was gone, Moon had been by her side as her health declined, and ultimately when she passed. He came back to the team the next week, and coaches told him he could take all the time he needed to get back to normalcy. But for Moon, all he wanted to do was play. 

Photo courtesy of Brenden Moon

His coaches and teammates admired his perseverance, and on the next game they made sure he would score a touchdown. When he did, he burst into tears. 

His mother inspired him to “strive to be the best player I can be on and off the field,” Moon said. 

Afterwards, his teammates were all in agreement that football was something that they could continue to look forward to during their hard times. Moon finished out the season, which included an incredible 75 yard interception return for a touchdown in a close game. Moon’s spectacular play helped the Bobcats push towards an undefeated league season. 

Despite all the hardship Moon has faced this year, he’s been able to look back to football and his teammates whenever he’s felt down. Paradise is a football town, and the Bobcats’ motto, “brothers to the bone,” reminds everyone that they’ve gone from a good team to an inseparable family.