Monroe Dispatch - No Struggle, No Progress

Coach Tattoo: Big Man Saving Kids

 

October 1, 2018

Community leaders come in all shapes, sizes and colors. What makes them stand apart is the heart inside of them for what they do, in order to make a difference in the community. Emmanuel Brown, Jr. is not the biggest or the tallest among leaders in the community. But what the short in stature man does with our at risk young Black boys, is the stuff of which legends are made. Affectionately known as Coach "Tattoo" in the Booker T. community, Brown is a very respected individual, especially by the young boys with whom this reporter had the opportunity to meet recently. Watching Brown interact with his young football players and his assistant coaches, one can see who the big man on campus is. Brown says that he is doing it because he realizes that our at risk young people need something to help them develop character and social skills. He says that he has been doing what he does for 9 years, taking young boys from different schools and turning them into young boys who can put their differences aside, and come as one on the football field. Make no mistake about it; Brown's players respect him, as he is a stickler for discipline. He called them all in our interview, placed them in an area within earshot. There was some small talk going on, at which point Brown asked them if they wanted to go outside and run, not practice. The next thing that you heard was silence. Brown commands respect and discipline, and that is what his players give him.

Brown's team is the Roe City Bulldogs and their first game is Saturday (Sept. 22) at Benoit Recreation Park at 9am. Brown is looking for an enthusiastic crowd to support his team as they begin their new season. There will be road games for the Bulldogs, as the team will get the opportunity to travel to Dallas and Atlanta. The teams (Brown has several teams in different age brackets), with the "senior" team of 10-12 year olds being the flagship team. Brown even has a team for his "babies" called the "Dav Boyz" which primarily plays flag football. Brown is clearly starting at an early age with our Black youth, as he tries to cultivate them to have pride in what they do, but also stresses to them to "have heart, dedication and determination", molding them to be winners in life, not only on the football field, but also in whatever they set out to do.

Brown says that it is not always easy for him because some of his boys come from homes that do not have a stable environment. He also knows that financial backing is always at the forefront, making it difficult to do some of the things that he wants to do for his players. Brown says that on one trip to play a game, he wanted his players to "look sharp", But he knows that teams that are "well off" can look better than his team when their uniforms are not hand me downs. He thanks those in the community who helps him with resources, as everything "is not free". There are costs that Brown must absorb, which is why fundraisers and donations are critical to their success. Brown says that his goal is to motivate his players and build champions. However, he says that it goes further than that. He says that when his players go out of town, he wants them to represent the city of Monroe well. Perhaps city officials can meet them more than half way with some type of funding. Brown and his assistants stand with him because they have the same love for his players just as much as Brown does. Brown said that he would like to coach at the high school level one day. But in the Booker T. community, Brown already stands as tall or taller than any other man who works with athletic minded youths. For Emmanuel Brown, Jr., it is all a labor of love. Special thanks from the community to Brown's assistant coaches. They are Cornelius Gix, Trey Hunter, Brandon Hamburg, Aaron Green and Coaches Brown and Berry. The community owes you all a gratitude of thanks.

 

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