Greene tows the line for Senators
Appeal Sports Writer
Welcome to the world of Carson High School offensive guard Jamie Greene.
With the majority of fans focusing on action players such as the running backs, quarterback and wide receivers, who are the ones with the football and end up in the end zone, Greene’s position goes relatively unnoticed an under-appreciated.
But anyone who understands the game knows that those higher-profile action players wouldn’t be having their success without help from their big guys up front.
“It all starts with the line,” said Greene, a 6-foot-4, 250-pound road-grader of a lineman, who also plays defensive tackle for Carson. “You either make the play or destroy it. You don’t really get recognition from it.”
Maybe not from the average spectator, that is. Talk to his teammates, however, and it’s another story.
“He’s our lone senior on the offensive line,” CHS quarterback Mitch Hammond said of Greene. “He’s definitely a leader on the team. He leads by example and does what he’s supposed to do. He gets the job done. I benefit – everyone benefits.”
Including star running back Travis Lamborn, one of the North’s leading rushers and a direct beneficiary of Green’s hole-opening blocks as well as his front-line mayhem on defense.
“Jamie is a hard-working guy,” Lamborn said. “As an offensive and defensive lineman, he knows his job on every play. He’s one of my favorite linemen. I like to run behind him. On defense I like to be behind him, too. You know he’ll take the gap he needs to take, so you don’t have to worry about that gap.”
Another action player, Senators wide receiver Richie Norgrove – the team-leader with 26 receptions – understands that Hammond wouldn’t be able to get him the ball so well without Greene’s pass protection.
“He’s the main leader of the whole line,” said Norgrove, who played with Greene since they were sophomores on the junior varsity team. “He shows the juniors how to block. He blocks the best on the team on run-blocking and pass-blocking. He’s very dependable.”
Hammond said not only does Greene bring experience to this year’s green offensive line, he also brings invaluable leadership, which could pay dividends even after he graduates this year.
“He sets a good example for our juniors for next year,” Hammond said. “Hopefully they’ll follow his example and we’ll have a great season.”
It’s been somewhat of a role reversal this season for Greene, who is schooling younger lineman and passing on some lessons he learned when he was in their shoes.
“When I was pulled up as a junior, I was the only junior on the team,” said the 17-year-old Greene. “The rest were seniors. It was kind of nerve-wracking the first game. But they treated me well and taught me everything I know.”
Even before he moved up to varsity, Greene had to overcome several challenges.
“The first time, when I was on junior varsity as a sophomore, I was inexperienced, out of shape and didn’t have any good friends on the team,” Greene said. “I worked harder to get stronger and make friends. And I did.”
One of those friends is Lamborn, who enjoys several off-field activities with Greene.
“He’s a pretty laid-back kid,” Lamborn said. “I’ve never seen him get angry. He likes to go riding dirt bikes and quads. We go paintballing. He knows how to lay down some paint. We like to be teammates. He’ll stay back and cover for me. He’s pretty quick. He’s big, but he’s not slow by any means.”
Greene, who said he was a good paintballer but gave it up because it got expensive, also said he runs the 40 in 5 seconds flat and is as fast as Lamborn, which didn’t make him an easy target to hit when he was paintballing, in spite of his size.
In addition to playing football, Greene is also a member of Carson’s ROTC program and is a Lieutenant Junior Grade who has applied to all of the service academies and is considering becoming an officer in the United States Marine Corps.
“I’ve always had the desire to join the military,” Greene said. “My ROTC instructor graduated from the Naval Academy and convinced me to become an officer.”
Should Greene be accepted into the academy and become a Marine, he’ll get to earn his “butter bars” – the gold bars that come with the rank of Second Lt. – and the leadership role that comes with it.
Greene’s favorite movie is “We Were Soldiers,” based on the book about the 7th Air Cavalry’s harrowing early experience in the Vietnam War.
“It makes me think about how everyone served their country,” Greene said of the movie.
Greene, who has an older brother – 23-year-old Mike – and an older sister, Heather, said his parents, John and Jeanne, aren’t exactly crazy about his military ambitions.
“My parents support all my decisions, but it’s not their first choice,” Greene said. “I’m willing to serve my country wherever they need me. It’s not like I want to go (to war), but I will if I have to.”
Greene said football and the military have certain qualities in common.
“Football requires a lot of teamwork and leadership,” he said. “It takes a lot of teamwork to learn how to pull together through a tough situation. There’s also good camaraderie.”
There’s a reason “Devils Dogs” are also called “lean, mean Marines” and Greene, who performs low repetitions with heavy weights to keep up his playing weight, said he would have no problem fitting that description.
“I was 200 pounds at the beginning of the (training) season and put on weight,” Greene said. “I can lose it easily.”
Lamborn said Greene, who prefers playing defensive tackle to offensive guard (“I actually get to make plays instead of block,” he said), is one of the few Senators without a nickname.
“People are scared to give me a nickname – I don’t know,” Greene joked. “My coach on JV called me ‘Mean Joe’ (after Pittsburgh Steelers great Mean Joe Greene).”
But after a sack on Wooster quarterback Scott Greene last week, Jamie Greene might become known as “Superman,” as he flew through the air, arms outstretched like a white-and-blue version of the superhero, before landing on the Colts QB.
“I remember seeing that,” Lamborn said of the play. “Jamie jumped up in the air and looked like he engulfed the quarterback. I couldn’t see him (the quarterback) anymore. When I see Jaime Greene, he’s a big hitter. When we watch film, when he gets to pull, he lays people out.
“He knocks a lot of people down. He’s had many pancakes – where he puts people on their back. He gets many tackles and sacks. He breaks through the line.”
Norgrove described some more of Greene’s qualities, which are sure to make any recruiter drool.
“He’s real tough,” Norgrove said. “He’s pretty much in the same situation as a lot of guys on the team and goes both ways (offense and defense). He never calls himself out (of the game). He gets tired, but he never comes out. He’s a real team player. He’ll do whatever he can to make the play. He doesn’t celebrate. He gets the job done and moves on.”
Whether it’s the Carson football team or the Marines, there’s always someone who will appreciate a few good men – and leaders – like Greene.