This is only the sixth year of varsity football at Arleta High School, but the Mustangs have been on the fast track.

Arleta has won three league titles in its first five years and is 7-1 this season.

"Our philosophy here is you have to make football No. 1 in your life," said Arleta High School Football Coach Dan Kelley. "These kids have done that and I think it's a credit to their record and what they've done."

Dan Kelley has been at the school since day one, taking over the head coaching duties last season.

Not only has Kelley and his coaching staff had to build a program from scratch, most of his players had never played football before and didn't know how to put on their pads.

"A lot of kids were nervous," said Arleta quarterback Anthony Silva. "We didn't touch a football for like the first two weeks. He just let everyone understand what the positions were and how they were meant to be played."

Many Arleta players say Kelley has a coaching style they can appreciate, however difficult it may be.

"Very intense. Very hard working," said wide receiver/defensive back Cobey Paiz. it's a hate and love thing. we love every second of it, but it's a pain in the (expletive)."

But Kelley has the confidence in his players to know they can handle it.

"It's tough at first, real tough," he said. "But the group of kids we had that came in at the beginning of school really developed well, and the program grew from there. Those kids, they laid the foundation to what we're doing right now."

Kelley teaches his players to appreciate and respect the game, and that there is no game if they don't work just as hard in the classroom.

This week, Kelley got good news that all 49 of his players made the grade and are eligible.

"I'm a physical education teacher, and I believe that character is built in the classroom," said Kelley. "A lot of these players here are students and athletes, and a lot of them are 4.0 students. I really believe in the classroom and I really believe it transfers on to the football field."

And at Arleta, it's transferring into wins.

Dan Kelley is the ABC7 NFL High School Coach of The Week.

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