SoHo Culture

South Houston’s Lane has changed the culture

South Houston has only won two playoff games in school history, but is on the right path. Vype

Originally appeared on Vype.com.

The definition of winning is different for every school in Houston.

For some it’s a state title or bust, and for others making the playoffs is monumental.

For the South Houston Trojans, it goes a little deeper.

Keep in mind; the Trojans have won two playoff games in school history dating back to 1957.

Think about that. That’s 60 years.

Coach Dwayne Lane took the head job at South Houston in 2013 after being a long-time assistant in Clear Creek ISD and Dickinson.

Lane has led his squad to back-to-back playoff appearances, falling in the first round to Kingwood both times.

“We are pleased with the progress that we have made, but we are past moral victories,” he said. “I can see in the kids’ eyes that they are expecting to win playoff games. It’s a complete change in mindset from where we were and that’s the toughest part in changing a culture.”

South Houston has a different set of challenges that the super-schools don’t encounter.

The power programs struggle with parental politics, booster clubs and balancing playing time with their large rosters.

“Our hardest part is actually getting our kids on the field,” Lane laughed. “Our kicker, who is a stud and could kick in college, started to miss a lot of practice before the playoffs. He quit the team to join the Marines, just a few weeks ago. We had a defensive back whose dad took him out of a game at halftime and never returned.”

That’s South Houston. And that’s getting to games, not practices.

“I love our kids and their families, but it’s just different here,” he said. “They will miss practice to watch their little brother and sisters when their parents go to work. A lot of times our kids miss because they are at work.”

It’s a different culture, but Lane is making it work.

“My biggest thing is building relationships with my players,” he said. “I live by the motto that kids don’t know how much you know until they know how much you care. I have to take the first step and these kids know that our coaches care about them. Then we develop them as football players.

“All we really preach is work ethic, accountability and commitment,” he said. “I wish we could teach more football schemes, but that’s what we install first and foremost.”

Lane also understands the importance of the big-men.

“You have to win at the Class 6A level in the trenches, so we love those guys up,” he said. “We don’t have ‘skill players’, we have ‘little skills’ and ‘big skills.’ When it’s time to eat pregame, we let the big guys go first. It starts up front and they have paid off huge for us.”

In the regular season, SOHO was the top offense in District 22-6A, averaging 380 yards per game. The offensive line was paramount in that success, but so were senior back Davion Williams and junior quarterback Torrence Stevens. Junior Ian Butler was the leading pass-catcher in the district as well.

Defensively, Sam Webb, linebacker Ethan Ponce and Everardo Martinez will be back in the mix in 2018.

“We are going to keep building off what we have done the past two seasons,” he said. “We have
a great nucleus coming back, who expects to win that playoff game.”

Football is a numbers game and the numbers are stacked against South Houston. But again it goes back to the definition of winning.

“It’s so rewarding so see these kids develop into something bigger than football,” Lane said. “Our trainer has been here for over
20 years, and when we had our awards ceremony last year for our football team and we recognized 24 seniors, she couldn’t believe it. It’s the most that she could ever remember. That’s how we are defining winning.”

This year the Trojans will recognize over 30 seniors and field two freshmen, two junior varsity teams, and a varsity team.

This article appeared in the December Issue of VYPE Magazine. Pick up your copy at any one of our locations today!

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Rockets get another much-needed win. Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images.

The Houston Rockets went on a redemption tour by beating the Detroit Pistons and Dallas Mavericks. But the most pivotal win was against the Mavericks as the Rockets finally showed their true potential. John Wall finally made his return from his injury hiatus and played with a lot of energy. DeMarcus Cousins and Eric Gordon combined for 61 points. It was great to see Stephan Silas crack a smile as he was able to beat his former team.

The Rockets clearly missed Wall during his eight-game absense. This season, the Rockets are a .500 team with Wall on the court. Wall is the Rockets' floor general that leads, constructs, and also pushes his teammates to become better.

Wall only played 21 minutes in the 133-108 win over the Mavericks but still had eight assists. Even though Wall only had 7 points, his presence was still felt by finding his teammates for open looks beyond the perimeter. Wall made sure Cousins and Gordon got a plethora of touches. He called multiple actions, so they got open looks from three, which was mainly Gordon. Gordon and Cousins' struggles have been similar but with Wall on the court, they were successful against the Mavericks. According to NBA Stats, Wall posted a 111 offensive rating with the starters versus the Mavericks, which included Gordon and Cousins.

"He's the engine to this team. He gets everybody going. He makes the game easy," Cousins told a reporter after the game. "The pressure that he constantly puts on the defense is a tough thing to deal with."

Gordon has struggled all season long with three-point shooting and relied on his slashing abilities. Saturday night, Gordon made six three pointers against the Mavericks, which was 66 percent from beyond the perimeter. Gordon increased his three-point percentage from 31 percent to 34.5 percent after Saturday night's game. Gordon's 33 points came from being able to attack the entire Mavericks' defense. Willy Cauley-Stein didn't stand a chance against Gordon as he was burned multiple times. Gordon's been a lifesaver for the Rockets in the last two games, and hopefully he maintains his play.

Cousins played fantastic against the Mavericks scoring 28 points and grabbing 17 rebounds. This is Cousins' first double-double with the Rockets this season. Cousins became the vintage player from the New Orleans Pelicans and Sacramento Kings. It was extremely fun watching Cousins push the ball up the court and aggressively snatch rebounds. Boogie shot 50 percent from behind the arc by making four three-pointers. He was dominant inside the paint as Cousins went 7/8 from the restricted area versus the Mavericks. This was the game Cousins needed after having a poor performance against the Pistons Friday night.

"It was really, really good. He did it all. He's a physical presence on both ends of the floor," as Silas said on Cousins' performance.

David Nwaba and Mason Jones were big factors off the Rockets' bench by having a combined total of 34 points together. Nwaba has been great in transition for the Rockets the entire season. Keep in mind that Nwaba is returning from an Achilles injury he suffered with his former team, the Brooklyn Nets. Nwaba has became a great defender, slasher, and is averaging a career-high nine points per game with the Rockets. He finished with 18 points on Saturday night versus the Mavericks.

Mason Jones has become a fan favorite of the Rockets because of his confidence. Silas is loving the usage of Jones off the bench but wants to find more minutes for him. Jones had a breakout performance versus the San Antonio Spurs with 24 points off 66 percent shooting from the field. He continues to get better with his reads from the point guard position. Jones' knowledge of running the offense has helped his efficiency on the court. He is never afraid to take clutch shots in pivotal moments of the game.

"To have a young kid who can come in and not be afraid of the moment, that's big. That's a tough position to be in as an undrafted rookie. I trust him. It's a good problem to have," Silas mentioned after the game. "He's showing me he's ready. He's a confident kid, and he should be. That's why he's good. He's not afraid of the moment, at all. He can get us organized, run plays, and score the basketball."

Hopefully, the Rockets can sustain their level of play when Victor Oladipo returns against the Washington Wizards, Tuesday. It will be interesting to watch Oladipo and Wall play in the same backcourt.

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