Football Coach and Athletic Coordinator for Irving High School, Aaron DeLaTorre, is excited about the 2016 football season. But beyond football, he is honored to be part of a program that emphasizes the academic and social aspects of students’ lives as well as their abilities as athletes.
“We are vested in students’ academic lives, their athletic lives and their social lives,” DeLaTorre said. “Academically we strive to be the best we can be. Our kids are always in the top 10 percent at least. We have all state athletes in all sports not just football all across the board getting recognition every single year.
“From a football standpoint specifically, we’ve had a great turnaround with what we do academically with our kids. My first year there I wasn’t really happy; I had 18 freshmen fail out of about 120. I took it on the chin. I said it was my fault; it was my responsibility.
“We didn’t do a good enough job teaching them what high school rigor was going to be like academically, so we focused on that, and we drove it home, and we have reduced that number down, down, down. Last year we had zero freshmen fail. That was the first time we had ever had that happen. That was a victory. I really give the kudos to the coaches, because they’re the ones driving it.
“Athletically, we want to put the best product on the field. We know going into a tough situation,” he said. “Our kids want to know what top-flight football programs are like. See Cedar Hill, we have a team that has won the state championship in our district. Duncanville has won a state championship. De Soto, I don’t know how they have not won a state championship, but they are really close. South Grand Prairie, I am here to tell you could beat any one of those teams at any time. Then you mix in the Irving schools and Grand Prairie. Grand Prairie is a good football team. It’s going to be a tough season, but we’re excited about it.
“It’s a great opportunity for our kids to get out there and compete and see what it’s going to be about.
“Socially, we always talk to our kids about not letting their circumstances make them a victim. Everybody has got it hard.
“We also talked to them about giving back. We do tons of community service at Irving High. I want the kids to get out there and work and learn to make it on their own and learn to give back. Our biggest thing is being a servant to others, and we want them to do that. Anytime you have any kind of community service, anytime you need any kind of help, Irving Tiger football players and coaches are going to be willing to help,” DeLaTorre said.