There was thunderous applause Saturday as South Oak Cliff made history by becoming the first school from Dallas ISD to win a Texas football state championship since 1958.
The AT&T Stadium in Arlington was a packed house as South Oak Cliff defeated Liberty 23-14 to claim the UIL Class 5A Division II state title.
“South Oak Cliff High School, the Mecca. We brought it back. We brought it home. I told you we going to do it,” SOC principal Willie Johnson said. “Great kids. High academics. High GPA. Intellectual. Inner city school and we beat everybody.”
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Many of the supporters Saturday were alumni of South Oak Cliff High School, including Chauncy Rabb who graduated in 2019.
“From a team that’s been through poverty, we went to losing our school to getting another school and still made it here," Rabb said. "So, that’s a big accomplishment. It’s just exciting to finally see kids channel their energy into something positive.”
Bismillah Muhammad of Dallas said to his family, the game was personal. Muhammad’s three nephews play on the team.
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“My father, their grandfather played for the Booker T. Washington team that won in 1958,” Muhammad said. “So, they’re out here trying to do the same thing. So, it’s about legacy. We’re super proud of them.”
As the team arrived back at their school Saturday afternoon, friends, family and neighbors were there to greet them.
Carol Chandler stopped to take a photo with players as they walked by, taking a moment to relish in the presence of the community's local celebrities.
“These guys, this school, this community has made all of us proud," said Chandler.
She and her husband were selling and giving away championship t-shirts.
Tim White was one of several community members simply there to join in the celebration.
“I grew up in this neighborhood. I’ve been here for years. My daughter went to school here. All my family went to school here, and we’re just happy for these people to make history like this. It’s going to change things for everybody," said White.
Dallas ISD plans to host a parade celebrating the big win on Tuesday, Dec. 21. The parade line-up begins at 10 a.m. with the start time at 11 a.m. followed by a celebration program at noon.
The parade will start at For Oak Cliff located on 907 E. Ledbetter Drive in Dallas and end at South Oak Cliff High School on 3601 S. Marsalis Avenue.