November 25, 2021

LAWT News Service


In an exclusive interview from the The L.A. Watts Times staff writer, E. Mesiyah McGinnis, Dorsey High School head coach, Stafon Johnson, assesses his first year and returning to the school that made him a legend.

SF: As a young head coach, I was trying to get our players to buy into the Dorsey system and tradition like when I played here; the work ethic that makes them champions on the football field, in the classroom, and in life.  We started with five players in June, most having never played football before, especially at a high level, but we just wanted to teach them football, knowing the life lessons would fall into place.  So, starting with five players to a 55-team roster, was challenging because we were teaching these young men way more than football.  From where they came from and how they are now, is an amazing experience to be a part of.


The outpour of love, the overwhelming support from the L.A. inner-city community and the DDP (Dorsey Don Posse) parents, fam, and alum, was major in supporting kids who were accustomed to failing, who were used to no one coming to see them play, but now experiencing this community showing up and telling these young people that they matter! 

My coaching staff … we don’t make it without you through to a 10-3 season and semi-finals appearance. 

We made a commitment and taught this team how to play; we guided these young men and showed them love, and how to have fun while playing football, to feel the love of football the way we did.  We grew!  I grew, the kids grew!  I also want to thank the Pep Squad, Cheerleaders, the Band, the assistants on the field, the trainer, and Dorsey administration, teachers, and staff.  You all made a huge impact. 

I used a lot of my experiences to help me throughout the year, to utilize the knowledge and high level of competitiveness I learned from my former USC coach, Pete Carrol, who brought that intensity every day. 


And I try my best to mimic the coolness of my former Dorsey coach, Paul Knox, who even under extreme pressure and heat, I never saw him lose composure.  I’m trying my best to do that but these refs! 


Just kidding, it was great playing with these officials; they care about the kids and are literally coaching them on the field, and I really appreciate them. 

The biggest test we had this year was being down by 21 points but winning in double overtime in the quarter-finals.  Look at God!  I lot of the adversity these kids battle through, they needed that, to experience hard fought losses and victories but in the end, understand it's just a game and life moves on. 

I want thank the teams we played against and the coaches for the high level of competition.  Together, we taught these young men to compete, but win or lose, shake hands and respect each other. 


My parents have supported me since I was in Pop Warner and I thank my mom for going back to team mom mode and just being a supportive anker.  And to my dad who has always been a major supporter, my family and the loyal friends who supported this team throughout the season.  To my players, I watched you become a true team. I love you.  The future is very bright for Dorsey High football.  - Coach Stafon Johnson.

Category: Sports