DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Freddie James is rooting for South Oak Cliff like you wouldn’t believe, but wants to clarify the idea that this could be Dallas ISD’s first state football title in over 60 years.

“South Oak Cliff will be the first team if they win this coming weekend since 1958,” James said. “People can say what they wanna say, but we know who won the state championship in 1988.”

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James coached that Dallas Carter High team which some regard as the best to ever play.

Due to an ineligible player, that title was stripped away.

To this day, he questions “why do they take that away from us two years after we had won it?”

That magical year wiped out of the UIL record books. but the pride, memories and state championship medal remain with Freddie James.

His former players often call him and say “we were the best team that ever came through Dallas. They never will forget it..”

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Here we are in 2021 with Duncanville coach Reggie Samples, a graduate of South Oak Cliff, trying to win his first state title in 6A.

In 5A, South Oak Cliff coach Jason Todd goes for his first as well.

James hopes both are celebrated as great coaches not great African American coaches.

He says he doesn’t “use the word black or white.”  “I don’t believe in that. I’m color blind.”

Freddie, who prided himself on teaching kids lessons on football and life, says he would give all the DFW young men playing on championship weekend one message before kickoff.

“Play the best game you can play. Don’t be afraid, and don’t be afraid of making mistakes.”

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That from a man who’s been there and done that.