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Local Student Signs with Division I School

According to Robert F. Kennedy High School Head Football Coach Mario Millan, “The moment Ivan Garza stepped into the Kennedy weight room as an incoming freshman, only a few days after his 8th grade graduation, we knew we had something special. He was a kid that immediately grabbed our attention with his size, but very soon grabbed it with his work ethic. The moment he touched a weight we knew he was serious as he led a group of friends in workouts made for much older kids. Once we transitioned to the field we realized his athleticism was also something to behold. That summer of 2015 we knew we had a special group of incoming freshmen led by Ivan.”

At the end of his freshman season Ivan had shown his dominance at that level and earned the opportunity to move up to Varsity for the 2015 playoffs. A few weeks later he earned himself a Valley Championship ring as he was an instrumental part in beating Avenal to win Kennedy’s second championship in a row. Coach Millan says, “For the next two years Ivan grew in his confidence and strength and we knew that we had a Division 1 football player on our hands.” To prepare, Ivan attended instructional football camps at both Fresno State and USC. There he grabbed the attention of many coaches and was put on the recruiting radar. In 2018 Ivan helped lead the 2018 Thunderbirds to its 3rd Valley Title. During the season Ivan dominated at his offensive tackle position and received interest from many major universities. His final accomplishments included his second "All SSL 1st Team Player," "1st Team All Area," "1st Team All Section" and "1st Team All State for Small Schools."

On Wednesday, February 6th, as part of National Signing Day while surrounded by RFKHS staff and his family, Ivan signed his official letter of intent to attend Sacramento State in the fall of 2019. Ivan is the first Delano Joint Union High School District student to be offered a scholarship to play Division 1 football since the mid 90's when Osbaldo Orozco was selected by Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.

The Kennedy Thunderbirds are very excited to have been a part of Ivan's journey to Division 1 football and cannot wait to see him play against the likes of Fresno State, Arizona State and Cal Berkeley over the next few years

Pictures are from National Signing Day celebration 2/7/2019.

Ivan Garza cutting cake

Ivan Garza with parents


Ivan Garza at celebration


Ivan Garza


Valeria Rodarte making speech


Coach Millan speech


Ivan Garza with Administrators