David W. Carter High School

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David W. Carter High School
1819 West Wheatland Road
Dallas, Texas 75232
United States
Coordinates 32°38′54″N 96°50′54″W / 32.6483°N 96.8482°W / 32.6483; -96.8482Coordinates: 32°38′54″N 96°50′54″W / 32.6483°N 96.8482°W / 32.6483; -96.8482
Type public, secondary
Opened 1966
School district Dallas Independent School District
Faculty 185[1]
Grades 9-12
Number of students 1,872[2]
Color(s) Columbia Blue and Red
Mascot Cowboys[1]
Trustee dist.  6, Carla Ranger[3]
Learning Community   Superintendent's, Leslie Williams [4]

David Wendel Carter High School (commonly referred to as Dallas Carter) is a public high school located in the Oak Cliff area of Dallas, Texas (USA). The school is a part of the Dallas Independent School District and is classified as a 4A school by the UIL.[5] In 2015, the school was rated "Met Standard" by the Texas Education Agency.[6]


The school was built in 1965 and is named after David Wendel Carter, a doctor and member of the DISD school board. He served on the school board for 25 years, from 1925 to 1950, longer than any other member. Carter also served as the school board's president for 16 years.[1] The school graduated its first class of seniors in 1968.[7]

The school initially drew students from Justin F. Kimball High School; the two schools maintain a highly competitive rivalry to this day. The two schools face each other annually in football as "The Oak Cliff Super Bowl".[8]

In 2005, after the closure of the Wilmer-Hutchins Independent School District. Carter absorbed some WHISD high school students.[9]

In 2011 the district re-opened Wilmer Hutchins High School.[10] Some former WHISD zones covered by Carter were rezoned to Wilmer-Hutchins.[11][12]


The David W. Carter Cowboys compete in the following sports:[13]


Carter High School winning football program started with Joe Rust, Mike Baker, Danny Davis, Patrick Martin, O.C Jackson and Skip Jefferson. Patrick Martin was 1st team All-SWC at Arkansas 1978.

Dallas Carter has a very competitive American football program. Playing in the highest classification in Texas high school football, the Cowboys reached the state semifinals in 1971 (lost 13-7 to Wichita Falls), 1974 (lost 14-12 to Mesquite) and 1982 (lost 21-13 to Hurst Bell), but did not make the final game until 1988. That year, Dallas Carter had one of the most talented high school football teams ever assembled, equipped with a defense featuring defensive tackle Derrick Cherry, linebacker Jessie Armstead, and defensive backs Clifton Abraham, Le'Shai Maston, and Derric Evans. Guided by legendary coach Freddie James, the Cowboys won the 1988 5A state championship with a 31-14 win over Converse Judson. During the 1988 playoffs, the University Interscholastic League (UIL) and the Texas Education Agency (TEA) attempted to remove Carter for using a player ineligible for an allegedly failing grade. The Dallas Independent School District (DISD) challenged the determination of the TEA in court and received a restraining order allowing them to continue play. Carter won the case in district court, Judge Joe Kendall ruling that the DISD, not the TEA, held the final authority to determine its students' grade. (The DISD had ruled that the student passed.) The UIL and TEA appealed Judge Kendall's decision and the appellate court refused to hear it, declaring the case moot. In spite of the court's rulings, the UIL voted in 1991 to officially strip the title from Carter and award it to Judson. The DISD, weary from years of legal proceedings, decided not to further contest the matter. The events of the 1988 Season were portrayed in the 2015 movie Carter High starring Charles S. Dutton as Coach Freddie James.[citation needed]

The 1988 Dallas Carter Cowboys appear in the 2004 film Friday Night Lights as opponents to Odessa Permian in the state championship game. Actually Carter defeated Permian in the 1988 state semifinals. The video clips used to show the 1988 Dallas Carter playing the "Hays Rams" was actually a 2002 playoff game between Carter and Richardson Berkner.

Carter's 1989 team was just as talented as the 1988 squad, featuring Clifton Abraham in his senior year and transfer Greg Hill. However, they were banned from the 1989 state playoffs by the UIL executive committee because Carter coach Freddie James had knowingly played an ineligible player. Carter was also caught using police scanners in 1991 to intercept radio headset communications between opposing team's press box coaches and sideline coaches, limiting an opposing team to six first downs in a 1991 playoff game. Nonetheless, The Dallas Morning News ranked Dallas Carter at #1 of their final area ranking of the 1989 season. In 1990, Carter reached the state semifinals again, but lost 14-24 to Arlington Lamar. Since James retired in 1995, Carter had a couple of different head football coaches. Bruce Chambers chose to leave the school for an assistant job at Texas after two seasons. His successor Linus Walton coached 1998 and 1999 before being removed after he was convicted of stealing money from the school. In 2000 Carter had an interim coach.

In 2002, Carter hired Allen Wilson, who has previously coached at Paris High School in Paris, Texas and John Tyler High School in Tyler, Texas. Paris won a 4A state title in 1988, while John Tyler won a 5A title in 1994 and made a finals appearance in 2000. Carter owns a 53-8 record since Wilson's arrival.

Dallas Carter had made 30 playoff appearances, which is best in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and 5th overall in 5A Texas football.[14]


53% of the students at David W. Carter High School are economically disadvantaged, 12% enroll in special education, 10% enroll in gifted and talent programs, and 4% are considered "limited English proficient."[15]

The ethnic makeup of the school is 94% African-American, 6% Hispanic, less than 1% Caucasian, non-Hispanic, less than 1% Asian/Pacific Islander, and less than 1% Native American.

The average class sizes at Carter are 24 students for English, 30 for foreign language, 22 for math, 23 for science, and 28 for social studies.[15]

Teachers at the school carry, on average, 11 years of teaching experience and 9% of the teachers on staff are first-year teachers.[15]

Feeder patterns[edit]

As of 2006, William H. Atwell and D. A. Hulcy Middle School feed into David W. Carter High School. [16]

Adelle Turner, Mark Twain Vanguard, and T. G. Terry Elementary Schools feed into William H. Atwell Middle School, and Birdie Alexander, Umphrey Lee, Ronald E. McNair, and Martin Weiss Elementary Schools feed into D. A. Hulcy Middle School, all of which ultimately feed into David W. Carter High School.[16]

Notable alumni[edit]

Notable faculty[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d buhh Dallas ISD - David W. Carter High School. Retrieved on 10 June 2007.
  2. ^ Texas Education Agency - School Directory Archived April 18, 2006, at the Wayback Machine. - type in school number "057905023" and select "view report." Retrieved on 10 June 2007.
  3. ^ Dallas ISD - Schools by Trustee Archived October 4, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.. (PDF). Retrieved on 10 June 2007.
  4. ^ Dallas ISD - Schools by Area Archived March 15, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.. (PDF). Retrieved on 10 June 2007.
  5. ^ Corbett. "Dallas ISD schools will not opt up; Carter, Pinkston, Lincoln will ‘drop’ to Class 4A." The Dallas Morning News. December 2, 2013. Retrieved on March 30, 2014.
  6. ^ "2015 Accountability Rating System". Texas Education Agency. [permanent dead link]
  7. ^ David W. Carter Classes of '68 and '69
  8. ^ Whitmire, Keith. "About The History". The Carter Cowboys. 
  9. ^ "Fall 2006 David W. Carter High School (9-12) Attendance Zone with Wilmer-Hutchins." Dallas Independent School District. Retrieved on July 15, 2011.
  10. ^ Hobbs, Tawnell D. "Dallas school district to open 3 Wilmer-Hutchins campuses, close 2 others." The Dallas Morning News. November 24, 2010. Retrieved on July 15, 2011.
  11. ^ "Fall 2010 David W. Carter High School Attendance Zone with Wilmer-Hutchins - Grades 9-12." Dallas Independent School District. Retrieved on July 15, 2011.
  12. ^ "Fall 2011 Wilmer-Hutchins High School Attendance Zone Grades 9-12[permanent dead link]." Dallas Independent School District. Retrieved on July 15, 2011.
  13. ^ The Athletics Department
  14. ^ Amarillo.com: Texas High School Football Statistics
  15. ^ a b c Great Schools - David W. Carter High School - Dallas, Texas. Information originally from the Texas Education Agency. Retrieved 10 June 2007.
  16. ^ a b Dallas ISD - 2006 School Feeder Patterns Archived April 9, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. - [1]. Retrieved 10 June 2007.
  17. ^ "Adrian Hamilton profile". Scout.com. Fox Sports. Retrieved February 20, 2013. 
  18. ^ "DeMarcus Love". HawgNation. Retrieved February 21, 2013. 
  19. ^ "Liz Mikel". El Centro College. 
  20. ^ "Notable Dallasites" (PDF). Dallas Public Library. Retrieved February 21, 2013.