One more win. South Oak Cliff High School is on the verge of accomplishing what no Dallas ISD school has done since 1958, claim a state football championship.
Late Friday afternoon, amid a sea of supporters, SOC players and coaches loaded onto buses headed to Arlington ahead of their 5A-DIV II matchup against Liberty Hill.
The sendoff marked a culmination for a campus and community undergoing a renaissance that principal Willie Johnson has observed up close.
“The momentum has been building, the transformation is in process,” Johnson said Friday. “This is just the culmination, this is the cherry on top.”
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The South Oak Cliff principal took over an academically struggling campus in 2017. Five years later, those metrics are improving. So, for Johnson, this moment for SOC football makes sense.
“When you set expectations and you have a coherent process, it shows how you can perform, academically and athletically,” Johnson said.
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On the field, SOC has done what no other Dallas ISD school has done since Lincoln H.S. in 2004, by just making it to the state title game.
An upset win over three-time defending Class 5A-DIV II state champion Aledo three weeks ago has powered SOC all the way to AT&T Stadium on Saturday.
And powered Angela Smith all the way from Oxford, Mississippi. Smith, with her parents, brother and daughter stood outside SOC High School for the sendoff for her twin sons Jordan and Jaden Smith-Rowe, sophomores on the football team.
“Every game we sit in front of the TV and we scream as if we’re in the stands,” Smith said. “And we will be tomorrow.”
Much of Dallas will be there too.
SOC has the support of other Dallas ISD schools and the entire city cheering them on.