A sea of faces decorated the stands of AT&T Stadium in Arlington on December 18, where Dallas’ South Oak Cliff faced off against Austin’s Liberty Hill and claimed the UIL Class 5A Division 2 football state championship (23-14).
This monumental win cemented SOC as the first Dallas ISD school to win a state title since 1958 and the first ever championship win for the school — putting the aptly named “Mecca” back on the map and its players in a new limelight.
Golden Bears’ defensive tackle, Cortland Kidd Jr. (#99) said the anticipated win was imminent, but so much was at stake.
“Yes, we had a season record of 14-1, but one of our biggest challenges – personally and as an overall team was keeping a level head and a focus on the game, so we could beat the odds,” the junior stated. “We had the city behind us, and we didn’t want to let them down.”
Kidd said that he (like his teammates) started the year with goals. His goal was to be the No. 1 leader on the defensive line, which he felt was achieved when he dominated in stopping opponent’s run game. This meant upping his defensive game so the offense could focus on rushing yards, and he could make sure (his words) the team doesn’t get “scored on.”
With his personal goal fulfilled and a record-breaking season in tow, Kidd is looking forward to what’s to come.
“I’ve been playing football since I was eight years old, and I’ve never experienced anything like what I witnessed at that championship game,” he said. “The energy among the team and even the crowd was electric.”
SOC’s championship game attracted a crowd of more than 45,000 fans. Many decorated in splashes of black, white, and gold with painted signs littered throughout spelling out S-O-C. Kidd said that because of the win, he’s looking forward to receiving even more attention.
“Schools that didn’t come before, and even recruiters that didn’t come before, will come now — we’ll definitely get more exposure,” he stated. “And I’m ready for the attention.”
With one more year ahead before he commits to one of his top college picks of Texas Christian University, Florida A&M University or Tennessee State University, Kidd is ready to embrace the gains ahead.