Nac Football Retires No. 78

by Ryan Peterson

The Nacogdoches Dragons played their spring game on Saturday morning.  But the big story came after the game.  Nacogdoches honored former Dragon Kynan Forney, retiring his number 78.  The Atlanta Falcons offensive lineman was at a loss for words.

"They almost made me cry like Roy Firestone used to get people on ESPN," Forney says.  "He almost got me, but I sucked it up.  If I had let it go I wouldn't have been ashamed."

Twelve years ago a retired number or even a pro career didn't seem possible for Forney.

"Actually we weren't thinking about pro."  Errol Forney recalls about his son.  "We were thinking about getting him to a college."

"I was just wanting to go to college and get my school paid for," Kynan Forney says.

What Forney didn't know was football would pay him.

After playing college football at Trinity Valley and Hawaii, Forney was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons.

"Kynan has grown up and become a man," Errol Forney says.  "He's worked really hard all these years and is dedicated to his profession."

Eight years later, Forney is still in Atlanta.   But his heart is with the Dragons.

"It's my program," Forney says of Nacogdoches football.  "It's the program I come from.  I hope I can leave trail for others and they can do the same thing."

Forney has left a trail by donating a substantial amount of money to the program.  He also let each and every kid know he cares on Saturday.

"They're (Nac kids) important to me and I hope I'm important to them," Forney says.

Retiring his number 78 proves Kynan Forney is important in Nacogdoches.

"To me it's a little bigger then the pro thing because this is home," Errol Forney says.  "This is where it all started for him. And for them to remember him and honor him for things he's done is big."