A popular valley soccer coach is going off to war, serving a tour of duty in Afghanistan. And his students are sending him off in style.
"I'm just so surprised," says Coach Mike Varela.
Varela could not believe what he was seeing. Students gathered at the Apollo High School courtyard to say good bye.
"The greatest thing about this is you have very diverse group of students, you have soccer players, cheerleaders, students in my class and a couple of students that are not in my class."
The popular coach is heading off to war in Afghanistan. The students want Varela to know how much they will miss him.
"To support Varela leaving, it's his last day, we are having something fun to do," says one student.
And that fun thing to do was a flash mob, dancing to the song Thriller. They put Varela in the first line.
The students cheered him on.
"It's crazy right now I'm nervous. This is all different, it feels good on my heart."
Students practiced hard and in secret. They wanted a fun way to say goodbye and a day he would remember.
"It's going to carry with me from the time that I am gone."
Students are sending him off in style, and are praying their coach comes home safely.
Varela is going to Texas for training next month and then he's off to Afghanistan. He expects to serve there for a year.