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Ferguson area football team surprised with $25,000 gift after coach’s selfless service

ST. LOUIS, MO — A Ferguson area high school football team is getting a gift because of the team's inspiring mission. The CW high school football TV drama "All American" is giving the team $25,000 after hearing about the coach's story and the team's dedication to excellence.

Ellen DeGeneres received a letter about Howard Brown, the Head Football Coach at McCluer South-Berkeley High School, in Ferguson, Missouri. The person writing the letter says Brown has spent his life trying to help at-risk youth. He uses his own money to provide food, uniforms, and gear for the team.

The person who wrote the letter says that many of the kids don't have male role models. They consider Coach Brown to be like a father to them. He doesn't just teach them football. He teaches them life.

Brown says that they don't cut anyone from the team. But, they have to be good citizens to say on by maintaining their grades and a good standing in the community.

"I didn't have a father in my life, none of my years. Coach B stepped into my life and became a father to me. Like the best thing ever. If it wasn't for him, I don't know where I would be without him," said Erik Morten.

"Coach B is an amazing person. Since I got here, I had anger issues. He helped me with coping skills. He tells me every day that I can be great. He helps me with ways to release my anger other than violence," said Delano Nettles.

Producers told the McCluer South-Berkeley High School football team that they were coming on her show for an interview. She unexpectedly surprised the team by announcing that they were getting a gift from the CW high school football TV drama, "All American." The show was so inspired by their story that the team is getting $25,000.

"All American" premieres 8pm Wednesday, October 10, 2018, on KPLR 11.