Posted: August 23, 2014 3:33 PM
By Shawn Wansley
JCJC Sports Information Director
ELLISVILLE – Five former football players, including a Super Bowl Most Valuable Player, will be inducted into the Jones County Junior College Sports Hall of Fame this fall.
Deion Branch, the MVP of Super Bowl XXXIX, along with Billy King, James Logan, Robert Sorey and Larry Suchy will be honored during Hall of Fame Weekend on Sept. 6.
The group will be honored that day when the Bobcats entertain Itawamba Community College at 7 p.m. There will be an induction banquet at 5 p.m. in the lobby of Jones Hall before the game and the inductees will be recognized at halftime of the football game.
Tickets for the banquet are $20 each and may be ordered by calling the JCJC Alumni Foundation Office at 601-477-4145.
Branch played in 1997-98 at JCJC and was an NJCAA All-American second-team wide receiver in 1998 when he played for head coach Parker Dykes.
The Albany, Georgia, native played on the 12-0 team in 1998 that won the MACJC championship and was named national champion by the Mike Gottfried Sports Magazine.
During Branch’s freshman year, he caught 37 passes for 369 yards and five touchdowns and returned 14 kickoffs for a 23.6 yards per return average. In 1998, Branch had 70 catches for 1,012 yards and nine scores. He returned 15 punts for a 12.8 average and 17 kickoffs for a 19.6 average.
After leaving Jones, Branch signed with the University of Louisville where he starred in 2000-01.
As a junior, he started 10 games and led the team with 71 receptions for 1,016 yards and nine touchdowns. He was sixth in the NCAA with 6.45 receptions per game. The Cardinals went 9-3, won the Conference USA championship and participated in the 2000 Liberty Bowl where Branch had a bowl-record 10 receptions for 170 yards and one touchdown in a 22-17 loss to Colorado State. He was named first-team All-Conference USA, Louisville’s Most Valuable Player and Outstanding Offensive Performer.
In 2001, Branch led the team with 72 receptions for a league-best 1,188 yards and nine touchdowns. He had 10 punt returns for 112 yards, including a 61-yard return for a score. The Cardinals were 11-2, won the CUSA title again and defeated Brigham Young University 28-10 in the Liberty Bowl. Branch had a 34-yard touchdown catch vs. the Cougars in the victory. He was again named first-team All-CUSA.
Branch was then drafted in the second round of the 2002 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots.
In his second season in 2003, Branch had 57 catches for 803 yards and three touchdowns. In the Patriots’ 32-29 victory over the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl XXXVIII, he had 10 receptions for 143 yards and one touchdown.
During his third season in the NFL in 2004, Branch was injured and missed seven games of the regular season. But he returned and had a 60-yard touchdown reception in New England’s win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship Game and was named the NFL Offensive Player of the Game.
Two weeks later in Super Bowl XXXIX, Branch tied a Super Bowl record with 11 catches for 133 yards and was named the game’s MVP as the Patriots defeated the Philadelphia Eagles, 24-21.
Branch played from 2002-05 with the Patriots and from 2006 through part of the 2010 season with the Seattle Seahawks. He then went back to the Patriots in 2010 and finished his career in 2012. He did sign a contract with Indianapolis in January of 2013, but did not play with the Colts.
For his NFL career, Branch had 518 receptions for 6,644 yards and 39 touchdowns.
Branch has returned to JCJC several times over the years and has donated money to the football weightroom. He has also appeared at the Pine Belt Area Fellowship of Christian Athletes Golf Tournament.
Branch and his wife, Shola, have four children: Deiondre, Deiontey, D’ahni and Nylah.
King played for head coach Sim Cooley on the 1971 and 1972 Bobcat teams. He also ran track and played baseball at JCJC.
The Stringer High School graduate was a quarterback and defensive back at JCJC.
King was an All-State quarterback in 1972 and led the Bobcats to the South Division championship. He was second in the long jump in the state track meet in 1972 and was an outfielder on the baseball team in 1973.
He signed a football scholarship with Delta State University and played tailback on the 1973-74 teams. He was a member of the “M Club” and graduated from DSU in 1975.
King and his wife, April, have been married for 39 years. They are the parents of three daughters – Ashlea King Maddox, Lindsey King Dickinson and Hilary King Free – who all graduated from JCJC. They are the grandparents of Jacob Maddox, Alec Dickinson, Will, Ashlin and Presley Free.
He coached Pee Wee football at Stringer Attendance Center and coached his daughters’ softball teams when they played in the Jasper County Recreational Softball Association.
King is a member of Edon Baptist Church in Stringer. He is an ordained deacon, member of the church choir, men’s Sunday School class and has served as Chairman of Deacons. He is on the church Finance and Pastor Search Committee and has worked in the AWANA program. His hobbies include golfing, hunting and spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren.
Logan was a standout linebacker for the Bobcats in 1991-92. He played for head coach Elmer Higginbotham in 1991 and Dykes in 1992. He was also on the JCJC track team.
Logan, who played at Opp High School (Alabama) and originally signed with the University of Southern Mississippi, was a two-year starter at JCJC.
As a freshman, he started 10 games and was credited with 74 tackles, including 43 solo stops. He also had a pass interception and recovered two fumbles. As a sophomore, Logan was credited with 136 solo stops in 10 games. He returned a pass interception for a touchdown and recovered two fumbles. He was a second-team All-MACJC performer and was also chosen to participate in the Mississippi Junior College All-Star Football Classic.
After graduating from JCJC, he went to Memphis State University where he played in all 11 games as a junior in 1993. He had 14 solo tackles, 12 assists and six sacks that year and was the recipient of the Glenn Jones 12th Man Award in the spring of 1994.
As a senior, Logan had 44 total tackles (34 solos) and recovered a fumble.
After graduating from the University of Memphis in 1995, Logan signed with the Houston Oilers in his rookie year. He then went to the Seattle Seahawks where he played the final six games of the 1995 season through the 2001 season. He was a special teams captain for the Seahawks.
In 2003, Logan began coaching at Daleville High School in Daleville, Alabama, where he serves as a physical education instructor, defensive coordinator/linebacker coach and track coach.
Logan’s parents are Judy and Jenkins Logan and his brother is Johnny Logan.
Sorey played for the Bobcats in 1964-65.
He helped the Bobcats to the state championship in 1964 when he was named Honorable Mention All-State as a defensive end.
In 1965, he was named All-State, voted the state’s Outstanding Lineman and was Mississippi’s only Little All-American. He also was on the track team during his sophomore year.
Sorey was a two-year member of the “J” Club and was voted Sophomore Class Favorite in 1965.
He signed with the University of Southern Mississippi and was redshirted in 1966.
Sorey is an active member of the JCJC Alumni Association and Bobcat Club. He helped with the planning of the 1964-66 Football Reunion in 2012 and contributed to Bobcat Stadium/Sim Cooley Field.
Sorey has been a Gideon (Smith County chapter) for over 20 years and is an active deacon at First Baptist Church of Raleigh. He has been a sponsor and has worked with the Raleigh FBC Youth Group for over 12 years. He is a Master Mason and is a member of Masonic Lodge 574.
He retired after 44 years of employment with Southern Pine Electric Power Association, including 25 years as a service representative.
He retired as a Master Sergeant in the Mississippi Army National Guard with 24 years of service. He was a Section Leader for the 114th Field Artillery, 4th Battalion and was a Platoon Leader for the 106th Forward Support Battalion. He is a graduate of the 7th Advanced NCO Officer Class and received a certificate of commendation for Superior Service in the 106th FSB.
Sorey and his wife, Lou Alice, have two children – Stanley Sorey and Shanna Sorey Matthews, who both attended JCJC. Stanley Sorey is now an attorney and Matthews is a high school biology teacher. Robert and Lou Alice’s grandchildren are Lynn and John Sorey, and Jeremy, Meg and Mallory Matthews.
Suchy led Heidelberg High School to conference championships before going to play for the Bobcats in 1964-65.
He was a starting freshman quarterback for the 1964 state championship team. He was selected as an All-State quarterback and was a JC Gridwire All-American Honorable Mention in 1965. He was a team captain and Hall of Fame Sportsmanship Award Winner after his sophomore year.
Suchy signed to play defensive back at the University of Southern Mississippi after leaving JCJC, but transferred to Mississippi College so he could play quarterback.
Suchy led the Choctaws in total offense in 1966 and 1967, picking up 1,248 yards as a junior and 1,967 yards as a senior. He earned a selection as an All-American Honorable Mention as a quarterback after his senior year. He selected as MC’s Most Valuable Player for both of his years there.
He was named to the Mississippi College Sports Hall of Fame in 1986.
He was signed by the Atlanta Falcons and played two years in the NFL and later would also play two years in the Canadian Football League.
Suchy died in an automobile accident on April 13, 1972.
JCJC Sports Hall of Fame
Class of 2007
Sim Cooley, Joe Flowers, A.B. Howard
Class of 2008
Randall Boone, John Perkins, Gene Tullos
Class of 2009
Gwen Magee, L. D. Ready, Jerry “Sally” Smith, Aubrey Wade, Patricia Waldrup
Class of 2010
Mike McClellan, Carlos McDaniel, Dr. Joe-Michael Robertson
Class of 2011
Dale Crowder, Wilmer Dennis, Parker Dykes, Elmer Higginbotham, Ken Schulte
Class of 2012
Dr. Sam Bounds, Hill Denson, Wendy Hogue, Dr. Amy Parker, Hannon Strickland
Class of 2013
Chauncey Davis, George Harrison, Jackie Parker
Class of 2014Deion Branch, Billy King, James Logan, Robert Sorey, Larry Suchy