Former Cibola standout to play in Super Bowl this week
February 01, 2018 09:04 AM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- In Sunday's Super Bowl, the New England Patriots will take on the Philadelphia Eagles. While New Mexico fans might be divided, they do have a local player to pull for in this one.
Former Cibola High School standout Alan Branch will go for his third Super Bowl ring with the New England Patriots. Ben Shultz, his high school coach, knew Branch was something special years earlier.
"He was playing one of his first freshman games, and he caught a pass on the opponent's 40-yard line," Shultz said. "And by the time he got to the end zone, there were 11 West Mesa Mustangs on his back, literally. And he carried them into the end zone. Ironically I was standing with Judge Chavez, and we looked at each other and he said 'This isn't fair.'"
In addition to his duties as a lineman, his senior year he also played running back, receiver and any other place they could put him.
"I remember we were playing Rio Rancho for the district championship, and we lined him up at quarterback," Shultz said. "And you could see him huddling over there wondering what they were going to do in this game."
Branch went on to a successful college career at Michigan, but not many people thought he would make multiple trips to the Super Bowl.
"No, to answer your question I had no idea," Shultz said. "Now that it's happened, you kind of want to stick out your chest and be proud that you know that young man and that maybe you played some little part of his success. And it really takes you back."
Come Sunday, Branch could be fitted for another championship ring.
Updated: February 01, 2018 09:04 AM
Created: January 31, 2018 08:16 PM
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