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Local coach torn on who to root for in Cleveland Browns versus Kansas City Chiefs playoff matchup

One of the Chiefs' stars is tight end Travis Kelce, who played at Cleveland Heights High School. His former coach spoke with 3News ahead of Sunday's playoff game.

CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio — Do you know who you’re rooting for this Sunday? 

Easy answer is the Cleveland Browns, right? But it’s not that simple for some people in town, including the man who use to coach Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce.

“It’s hard to have an allegiance to anybody when you have one of your players out there,” said Mike Jones, coach of the Cleveland Heights Tigers from 2000-2007. “Your player is near and dear to your heart and you always want to see them do well.”

Jones had the pleasure of coaching both Jason and Travis Kelce during his time as coach. Jason plays for the Philadelphia Eagles. While the two have had to leave Cleveland, Jones says the Kelce family, especially Travis, are still truly in love with our hometown.

“Travis loves Cleveland. You can see that on Sunday and Monday night when they ask his name. He says ‘from Cleveland Heights, Ohio’ every single time,” said Jones proudly.

Travis Kelce even gave a shoutout to Cleveland Heights during a post-game interview following the Kansas City Chiefs comeback victory in Super Bowl LIV over the San Francisco 49ers.

“I’m just forever thankful for the opportunities man. Coming from Cleveland Heights, Ohio. I’ve been unbelievably fortunate," said Kelce at the time.

His teammates Frank Clark and Anthony Hitchens also have roots in Northeast Ohio.

So what is one to do when your hometown Browns are going up against the player you helped develop and grow into one of the NFL’s elite?

Jones says it’s a tough call, but he’s in a win-win situation. He loves seeing the Browns success, and wouldn’t mind seeing Kelce succeed again too.  One thing is certain, Kelce isn’t going to go easy on the Browns. He’s a competitor to the core, and has put it to us in the past.

And while I’d like to believe the Kelce family wants to see the Browns succeed this year, they’re probably going to put family first – can’t blame them for that.

Jones says, “they love that baby boy Travis. I can tell you that right now. So they’re all in on Trav, I’m sure.”

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