IOWA PARK, Texas (TNN) - If you’re a fan of Iowa park football, you’ve probably noticed that senior quarterback Cirby Coheley suits up for the Hawks as number four on the road, and number 10 when they’re at home. This jersey swap is not a mistake, it’s on purpose, and the number 10 runs deep in the Iowa Park community.
On October 20, 2000, Iowa Park football player Justin Denton was involved in a car accident that ultimately took his life. Denton was a stand out on the field and wore number 10.
“It’s a big tradition and it’s a hometown tradition,” said Coheley. “I’m just honored to wear it.”
Following Denton’s death, the number was retired for fifteen years before Denton’s mother and step-dad decided it was time to see it back on the field in 2016.
“Anytime that you lose a kid, it’s just awful,” said Iowa Park Head Coach Aubrey Sims. “I can’t even imagine and I don’t want to imagine to think what that’s like, but to be able to honor him at every home game I think is pretty special.”
From then on, it’s been passed on, player to player each season.
“It just kind of represents a kid that’s gonna work hard and get after it each week,” said Sims. “Somebody that you can depend on and that’s exactly what Cirby has been.”
“Basically, have good character,” said Coheley. “You don’t have to be the best player on the field, just show you’re always there for your team and I know that’s what the previous people have done and that’s what I’m trying to do now.”
Coheley says that even 20 years down the road, the importance of the number 10 will never fade.
“It’s an honor for whoever is gonna wear it in the future and it’ll be cool looking back on it,” said Coheley.