“There is no place like home,” said Stafon Johnson just before his first game as head football coach for the Dorsey High Dons vs. the Santa Monica Vikings. Johnson was a phenom at the running back position for the Dons 2004-2006, earning a full scholarship to USC and playing for the Trojans throughout his college career.
Even as a Tiny Might player in Pop Warner, Johnson was lauded as one of the best backs in the conference as a nine-year-old for the LA Sheriffs. He continued the great legacy of Dorsey running backs such as Lamont Warren, Beno Bryant, and Karim Abdul-Jabbar just to name a few, and was a workhorse, playing both offense and defense. “I gave my all for the City of L.A. since I was a child and city has always poured their love right back,” he said.
Johnson felt that same love when he walked onto the Jackie Robinson Stadium field with his coaches and players. He said he felt a burst of energy from the people who have always been there for him, his supportive parents, family, friends, and the Los Angeles community as a whole. “I’m grateful that the Dorsey administrators believed in me. I want the kids feel that experience, to have L.A. behind you. I tried running from this for years; yet, I had to realize who else will understand and know the pulse of the city and how to make an impact?”
On the sidelines, Johnson said he felt a surreal, epic moment of comfort and happiness. “I didn’t want to leave; I knew that the kids could make history.” According the Johnson, beating Santa Monica 14-0 made it the first team win in the months of August and September since 2016. He joked, “I kept thinking, ‘I can’t lose my debut.’” When asked what his goals are for the season, he responded, “Our goal is the buy in, change the view and culture one game at a time.”
Dorsey next plays at Narbonne High on Thursday, September 2, at 7 p.m.