Charlotte Trojans power through seasonFree Access

Gabriella Ruiz

Pleasanton Express Intern

Charlotte has had several up and downs over the years in their football program.

This 2018 season, though, Charlotte has spirit like no other. At every home or away game, the stands are all filled with Trojan fans supporting their boys. No matter the outcome, they are always cheering them on to victory.

New head coach, Rene Ortega, has had a hand in shaping the boys into the young men they are today. He has given them the ability to prove everyone wrong on who doubted them in the beginning and to always have hope. 

His athletes are grateful that they have a coach who not only helps them on the field but with their studies too. 

“My staff and I preach academics repeatedly,” said Ortega. “We give them chances throughout the week for tutoring and make-up sessions. We tell them that without an education they will struggle in life and not find a job they want the most. We put the idea in their heads on a daily basis that being educated is important and school always comes first. Even if they have a high grade in the 70s, we tell them to find a way to get a higher grade to improve their GPA. We tell them don’t settle for C’s, but for A’s and B’s.

 “I hope they use what I teach and coach them in life,” said Ortega. “ We try to teach and explain them that hard work and commitment will get them far in life. I told them that I don’t care if they become rich or famous one day. I do hope that they become great husbands, fathers, and take care of their family. We are trying to mold them into great men. I know that one day some of these men will leave Charlotte for the real world, but we tell them don’t forget where you come from and never forget your hometown.”

Parents are happy their sons are treated with respect and that they have a coach who puts their grades before sports 

“First of all these are great kids that live in a great community. I preach commitment, desire, passion and community,” said Ortega. “I try to make them believe that anything is possible if they put heart and work into what they are doing, which consists of being in the classroom, athletics and in life. I consider these kids my family now and I will from here on out have a life-long friendship with them. I am trying to shape them into productive student athletes and great men. All 32 kids that I coach are very different, but I try my best to make a connection with them the best that I can.” 

With many comments on Facebook, people everywhere are engaging with Charlotte’s rising reputation of being 7-1 for the 2018 season. 

“Great Job,” said Sylvia Campos. 

“Keep teaching our children right. Very proud to be the parent of a Charlotte Trojan student.” 

“This is the way it should be in the USA,” said Betty Jones Thompson. “God has blessed us.” 

“Tradition of excellence continues,” said Margaret Neumann McCloskey. 

“Proud to be a Trojan,” said Nicolas Cordova Jr. 

It has been since 1998 when Charlotte was 10-0 and the last time they made playoffs was in 2012 where they made it to the first round. Charlotte will now have the chance to make it to playoffs this year, making history.

 “This year we are 7-1,” said Ortega. “These 32 students/athletes have put so much work into what we are right now. A reporter once asked me, “What’s the secret?” I said there’s no secret in our success. I have a great superintendent, principal, athletic director, student athletes and community. We all have a common goal, which is to educate these kids and win district championships in both boy and girl sports. 

“Every magazine and reporter picked us dead last and to lose most of our games. These kids have responded and showed their character on and off the field. I am happy God helped me apply for this job and that Athletic Director Shawn Vowell took a chance on me, giving me an opportunity to be the head football coach here at Charlotte ISD. My time here in the last four months has been a great experience.” 

The student athletes have shared an unbreakable bond with Coach Ortega over the months they been with him. 

“Coach Ortega is a great, straight forward coach,” said senior co-captain, Mark Gaitan. “He has a lot of faith in us. On the very first day we saw him, he said, I see a lot of great talent in this team.”

“Coach Ortega is a hard working coach,” said junior Alex Martinez. “He puts a lot of heart and time into everything he does. He’s straight forward with us and gets involved with our community any way he can. He revived our confidence in this program for sure.” 

Sophomore Brandon Sanchez said, “ Coach Ortega is a really great coach. He is really dedicated to our program and is great at what he does. In so little time, he has made us into a winning program and taught us how to be young men.” 

“Coach Ortega treats everyone with respect and gives us chances,” said freshman Craig Flores Jr. “He is the reason why we are 7-0. He always says there is no I in team. We continue to give him our best work until we achieve a winning victory.” 

“A coach and a student athlete have a common bond,” stated Ortega. “A coach is one of the most important figures in their lives. We mentor them and they look up to us. If they don’t listen to their parents or follow the rules, we can address it. These kids in Charlotte are great. Yes, we have our share of some that do wrong here and then, but overall these kids work hard and do what they are told. It’s been a blessing to be teacher and work here at Charlotte ISD.” 

Charlotte fans are loving Coach Ortega. They appreciate all that he does for their sons who play. 

His brother happened to reach out on Facebook talking about Ortega. 

“That’s my brother, Coach Rene Ortega,” said Ray Ortega. “We come from a proud family of US Military Veterans and LEOs. Proud of you brother. Keep up the great work. Go Trojans.” 

The 2018 Trojan football season has been looking good for Charlotte. Come out and support the Trojans as they host Runge Friday night. Kick off begins at 7 p.m.

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