Two years ago, the Irving High School boys’ soccer team made a historic run to the state finals.

Fueled by their experience and talent – but most of all camaraderie and hard work – this year’s team is equipped to mirror that success.

Halfway through the district schedule, the team is off to a fast 10-1-1 start.

“This group of kids doesn’t give up,” says Irving head soccer coach Don Danford. “They challenge themselves on the field. They play well together. A lot of them, they just get along.”

Junior midfielder Felipe Garcia agrees.

“Some of us have [known] each other for the longest, and we just have that connection already,” he says.

Garcia was a freshman on the team that made it to state, along with team captain Alessandro Ceballos and six other players. They’re hoping for a repeat.

“We put in the hard work, and with all that hard work, I know we have what it takes to go back to state,” says Ceballos. “I’m excited for the success, and I’m anxious to go back.”

But the team is careful not to overlook any game on their schedule.

“We have 14 district games, and each one of them is a playoff game,” says Coach Danford. “That’s why we’re just focusing on one game at a time.”