CANTON, Ohio (KTRK) — A Houston native and former Worthing High School athlete, Cliff Branch received football’s highest individual honor and was posthumously inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and his former school’s band came to honor him.
Branch, a star at Worthing High School in the Houston Independent School District, was one of the NFL’s biggest threats from 1972-1985 in Oakland and Los Angeles.
The four-time Pro Bowl selection had 67 through-air touchdowns and led the NFL in 1974 with 13 and 1976 with 12 touchdown receptions. Branch also had a league-high 1,092 yards in 1974.
A Canton Repository Grand Parade is held annually as part of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival in Canton, Ohio. Branch’s alma mater, Worthing HS, was part of the parade with the Prancing Dolls and Marching Pride of Sunnyside joined in the celebrations.
“It was exciting and nerve-wracking for the students, but rewarding at the same time,” Worthing High School band director Kuan Mitchell told ABC13.
“Literally traveling from one extreme end of the country to the next was an experience. The students gave up their summer and practiced since July 16. Our students have joined forces and we look forward to our next opportunity. I must thank my staff Joseph Augulliard, Ms Walker, the Worthing administrative staff, the Worthing Alumni Association and the Lighthouse Ministry.
Worthing Marching Band will be traveling again next summer when they take part in the National Fourth of July Parade.
“Greatness is in you!” Mitchell added.
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