Green making mark for Watterson
In 2001, the Watterson High School football team finished as the Division II state runner-up, with 2002 graduate Lerron Moore rushing for 2,240 yards and 30 touchdowns while earning ThisWeek Super 25 and first-team all-state honors.
Moore's performance that season was among the greatest in program history and he went on to become the all-time leading rusher at Western Kentucky University. He also happens to be a family friend of Walter Green.
Green, a 5-foot-7, 155-pound junior running back for the Eagles, was encouraged by Moore to enroll at Watterson as a freshman after previously attending Columbus City Schools.
It's a decision that, despite presenting its share of challenges, Green doesn't regret.
"I don't have any family who has come through Watterson, but it's a family here," he said. "It's been a journey, but it's been a good one. The academics have been a huge adjustment, and it's been an adjustment being with new people. Football has been a big help. Going in, I didn't know a single person, but just getting to know people has made me more comfortable."
Green appears to be on his way to making a name for himself.
In a 28-14 win over Whitehouse Anthony Wayne on Aug. 24, he rushed for 45 yards on 11 carries to lead the running backs. Senior quarterback Andy Elberson had a team-best 68 yards on 16 carries.
Then, in a 21-3 win over Hamilton on Aug. 31, Green had 11 carries for 75 yards. Junior DeAndre Golden led Watterson with 92 yards on 12 carries. Junior Cody Calhoun also has been a key contributor out of the backfield.
Watterson beat Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit 13-7 on Sept. 7 to improve to 3-0 and plays Friday, Sept. 14, at Cincinnati Winton Woods.
Winton Woods improved to 2-1 with a 51-13 win over Middletown on Sept. 8.
"We have power, speed and elusiveness," Green said of his team's backfield. "I bring elusiveness, and field vision is one of my biggest strengths. It's a family, so we share the ball."
Green gained some varsity experience late last season, but he, Golden and Calhoun are taking on key roles for the first time. Elberson saw his first action as a sophomore in 2010 and started the first five games last season before getting injured.
Senior center Andrew Lorenz, a returning starter, agrees with Green that Watterson's running backs complement one another.
Lorenz is joined on the offensive line by senior Joe Winters at right tackle, senior Josh Hoyng at left guard, senior Patrick Birch at right guard and juniors Kyle Fada and Nathan DiPalma at left tackle.
"I feel like our offensive line has been getting better, and we have really good backs," Lorenz said. "They've got a lot of speed and quickness. (Against Hamilton) we really took it to them in the first half, but in the second half we didn't really close them. Our focus (last week) was on closing it out better.
"We all know our backs are really good. They all can run the ball pretty hard. DeAndre is more of a power back, Cody uses a lot of speed but also a lot of power, and Walter is more of a scatback who gets people to miss him."
Green, who also returns punts and sees time in the defensive secondary, couldn't be happier about the strides the Eagles have been making.
"At first, I didn't get much playing time last year, but we put in an option and I was the speed guy and started to see the field more," Green said. "It was a tremendous help because I'm more adjusted to the speed and it built up my confidence. Now I'm just playing my game.
"It's a great feeling. My teammates and I have just got to stay focused and hungry."