SAN MATEO (KRON)—We are less than 24-hours away from Super Bowl 51 between the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots and the game could end up being a historic night for Bay Area native Tom Brady.
The pride of San Mateo could earn a record 5th-world championship, the most of any QB in NFL history.
KRON4’s Mark Carpenter recently caught up with Brady’s high school coach and teammate and has their account on how the legend of Brady started.
Long before the Super Bowl trophies and MVP awards, Tom Brady was just a teenager at Serra High School in San Mateo.
He didn’t start in his freshman year and many say he was just as good, if not better, at baseball than football.
His coach, Tom Mackenzie, still remembers the first time he saw Tom’s skills on display.
“He was already a little past six feet,” Makenzie said. “He was not real quick afoot and he didn’t have what you’d call great agility, but he could throw.”
You could say young Tommy turned into somewhat of an expert at throwing.
If he didn’t have a talent for tossing the football, he wouldn’t be near the top of practically every major passing category.
Brady has fired many touchdowns to many receivers over the years, but before Edelman and Gronkowski, there was John Kirby, the man who hauled in TD number one.
“It was in a scrimmage up in St. Ignatius,” Kirby said. “I have the VCR tape somewhere and it was time for the backups to go in and it was his first play, my first play my DB fell down, he threw one up to me and next thing you know it was a 60 yard touchdown.”
More than 500-touchdown passes and 4-Super Bowl rings later, Brady’s achievements materialized into the house he helped build at Serra High. A stadium that’s a tribute to his Hall of Fame resume and work ethic.
“I never had to tell him to train or work hard to get ready for football,” Makenzie said. “He was always willing to do that on his own.”
“You know, people gave him a hard time about his foot speed, so instead of kind of complaining and wallowing in it, he put the same foot speed drill that we used in the weight room, in his garage so he could improve and that’s what’s great about Tom,” Kirby said. “No matter what adversity he faces or any challenges that come up, in a sense, he kind of thrives off it.”
Those closest to Brady have no doubt he’ll thrive in his latest challenge: win one more ring and set a new standard for greatness.
“It’s a bit surreal, but it’s really great to know that my high school quarterback, no one knew at that time, but we could have possibly been playing with the greatest quarterback of all time,” Kirby said.
“My father worked a lot of years,” Makenzie said. “High school, college and professional football and never had the good fortune to have one of his athletes have the success that Tom Brady, who grew up in my neighborhood and my parish, has had for me, so I feel certainly very blessed and very fortunate.”