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Josh Allen's California high school retires his number

Josh Allen's No. 15 was retired by Firebaugh (Calif.) High School on Friday night as part of Senior Night festivities against Coalinga. Firebaugh won the game, 25-7.

Allen, the Bills' quarterback, graduated in 2014 in a class of 164 students.

Firebaugh, with a population of about 8,300 people, is 40 miles outside of Fresno in the Central Valley. Allen grew up on the family's 2,000-acre ranch, where they grow cotton, wheat and cantaloupes. The Allens have lived in Firebaugh since his great-grandfather came from Sweden in 1907.

Allen did not attend the ceremony, given that the Bills have a game Sunday. His parents accepted the honor on his behalf, receiving a framed jersey with photos and a varsity letter and a proclamation. A circular sign with "Allen 15" was unveiled above the press box at the stadium.

"Firebaugh shaped me to be the person, the quarterback I am today," Allen told The News shortly after he was drafted by the Bills in 2018.

Josh Allen, the Bills' top 2018 draft pick, stands in the cotton fields at his family's farm in Firebaugh, Calif. (Harry Scull Jr./Buffalo News)

While Allen could have left Firebaugh for a bigger school in a more populous area in hopes of attracting the attention of college recruiters, he didn't. Allen's grandfather, Buzz, was the Firebaugh-Las Deltas Unified School District's first president and served 12 years on the board. The high school is dedicated to him.

"I have such strong family ties with this high school," Allen said. "I felt it was necessary for me to play here. I'd been here my whole life. There was no point in changing. We were going to work with what we got and find a way."

Allen went to Reedley College before heading to Wyoming, when his strong arm helped him storm onto the national scene. He was drafted seventh overall by the Bills.

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