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Photo by Cynthia Pantaleon - For the DRC

Football player receives recognition

Profile image for By Floribel Núñez/For the Denton Record-Chronicle
By Floribel Núñez/For the Denton Record-Chronicle

A Denton High School senior has been recognized as student of the month by a Latino television news channel.

Hector Delgado, who plays linebacker for the varsity football team and is a member of the ROTC program earned the honor from Telemundo.

“It felt great to have been recognized for a great accomplishment,” Delgado said. “I was stunned that my coach had chosen me to represent DHS to encourage people out there. You can do anything you want to do.”

Delgado has devoted time and effort to playing football and participating in ROTC. Additionally, he has school and family to be a part of, as well.

“I need to balance my life with my families — ROTC being my second family and football being my third family,” Delgado said. “I need to have enough time to be part of everything I love to do.”

Delgado said he knows he can perform better on the field, which makes him stay motivated in the sport. He is encouraged by his fellow teammates, whom he calls his brothers.

“Being on the football team means that you don’t quit and you can rise up to any challenge,” Delgado said. “To me, it is that I can trust my teammates that they have my back and that I feel part of a family.”

He said football has taught him a lot about life, too.

“I benefit from football a lot because it is a good stress reliever,” Delgado said. “Football has taught me to be a better person in grades and conditioning. It helps me also whenever someone tries to start something … it is best to just walk away.”

If he is not on the field playing, Delgado advises to the younger players on the field. He tries not to yell at them if something went wrong. He would do anything for his players, Delgado said. He loves them to death.

Head football coach Kevin Atkinson said he hoped more athletes were like Delgado.

“Whether he’s in the weight room or in practice, he’s very attentive, he always gives 100 percent, and he tries to do things exactly the way they need to be done,” Atkinson said.

That work ethic helps him fill an important role on special teams for the Broncos, his coach said

“He’s kind of a role player on our team; he’s really kind of our special teams captain,” Atkinson said. “He’s backed up a couple different spots on defense, a spot play there, but he’s a mainstay on our special teams and kind of a spiritual leader.”

Delgado said his role model is his fifth-grade teacher who was a Marine. Delgado now wants to follow in his teacher’s footsteps, using ROTC as preparation for his Marine career.

“I want to be a Marine to serve my country and be able to travel the world and inspire kids in different parts of the world,” Delgado said. “When I first told my parents I was going to join the Marines, they weren’t so happy. They were more concerned than anything if I would come back. Lately, they have been supporting me with my decision.”

As a senior in the school’s Junior ROTC program, a lot is expected from Delgado. However, Lt. Col. Robert West, the leader of the program, says he’s exceeded those expectations.

“Hector has grown tremendously,” West said. “He started off not knowing what to do — now he wants to be a Marine. He has had a great time preparing for that.”

Even though his time in high school is coming to an end, those around him know he will be successful.

“I know Hector will be successful in the Marines,” West said. “He knows the difference from right and wrong. If he is told something, he does it the first time; not asked more than once. Hector is a pleasure to be around.”