South Houston’s Lane has changed the culture
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!