February 7, 2005
Jacksonville, Fl. - Deion Branch has never forgotten his hometown and the coaches who have made it possible for him to play in the NFL. I
n fact before his Super Bowl MVP performance, Deion Branch was on the phone with two of his former high school coaches.
Former Monroe High head football coach William Chunn was buying snacks to watch the Super Bowl Sunday when his cell phone rang.
The caller was Deion Branch.
Chunn said "We were just talking in general about how proud I am of him and of course he was very grateful to me for the role that I have played in his life."
Chunn and Branch talk just about every week during the season.
Chunn says he kept giving Deion pep talks when Branch was frustrated over a knee injury that caused him to miss almost two months of action.
Chunn's advice to be patient paid off for Branch and the Patriots last night making him one proud coach.
Chunn said "You might be looking at 28 or 29 high school or college coaches that can say they coached a Super Bowl MVP and I am one of those coaches and I am extremely proud."
Another former Monroe coach who heard from Deion Branch before the Super Bowl was Vernorris Bradley.
Bradley watched the game with many of Deion's former high school teammates.. teammates the NFL star has never forgotten.
Bradley said "One thing about Deion Branch is that he has never forgotten where he came from. He loves his family. He loves his childhood friends."
Over at Monroe High, a banner now hangs in front of the school.
Monroe assistant coach Octavia Jones remembers his senior year when a short and yes slow freshman came out for the Tornado football team.
Octavia Jones said "Great motivation for the kids we have here today. Lets them know that hey, look I am from Albany and I can grow up and do some of the things that other people from this great city have done and will continue to do in the future."
Vernorris Bradley says plans are already in the works to honor Deion Branch.
The final plans will be determined on when Deion Branch's now very busy schedule will allow him time to return to his hometown of Albany.
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