FORT WORTH – The players at Diamond Hill-Jarvis High School are too young to remember the last time their team won a varsity football game, but they certainly knew how to celebrate.
Thursday night, the team broke a 77-game losing streak, defeating Dallas Conrad 40-12. They took the lead early and, for the first time in a long time, kept it.
"It was just a relief, you know, it finally happened!" said player Adrian Gutierrez.
The school celebrated Friday with a parade in the high school hallways. But, less than 24 hours after the win, the team was back in the weight room preparing for next week.
"It's a good start, but we have to keep working," said team captain Joey Flores, a senior.
Flores grew up in the neighborhood, and he said he had never heard of the high school winning a football game. He was just nine years old and in elementary school when Diamond Hill-Jarvis had their last victory, but he believes that his team has built on the hard work of other players that stuck through losing seasons.
Coach Oscar Castillo joined the program last year, accepting an assignment that some might have found daunting.
"I knew the record," Castillo said Friday. "We've preached since we got here, just be positive, positive, positive. No negativity whatsoever."
It is not the longest losing streak in Texas high school football history. According to statisticians at Dave Campbell's Texas Football, that honor belongs to a high school in Houston that lost 80 games in a row from 1985 to 1993.
But everyone at Diamond Hill-Jarvis agrees that this was long enough.
"A lot of people say that winning is not everything, but when your heart desire is to win, then it is important," said Castillo. "You gotta throw the cliché out."
The team is now focused on the game ahead. They'll get a chance to build a winning streak next Friday night when they play North Dallas in a home game.