Ramone Green has played in all six of Nixa’s games as a freshman running back this season, but felt he received his official initiation to playing under Friday night lights last week against Carl Junction.
“I got hit pretty hard for the first time,” Green said. “It feels good to start getting those now and get used to them because I’m going to be doing this for a while. I like the physicality and the speed on the varsity.”
Green has responded as well to playing against foes as much as three years older than him as anyone at Nixa could have expected. He’s enjoyed breakthrough nights each of the past two weeks. Green had a 55-yard run and his first touchdown in Week Five at Neosho and followed up with a 15-carry, 60-yard effort against Carl Junction in Week Six.
He enters this week's Homecoming contest against Branson with 157 yards rushing.
Green has impressed his teammates and coach Rich Rehagen.
“He definitely plays older than he is,” quarterback Reid Potts said. “He’s got some good feet.In the summer time, he was running routes and I was watching him and thinking, ‘Man, he can move.’ I’m excited for his future."
“Ramone is doing a great job,” Rehagen said. “He’s a good runner with great vision. I expect a lot from him over the next few years.”
Running back Alex Wentz has known of Green’s potential for a couple of years. Wentz’s younger brother, Jackson, is also a freshman and played with Green in junior high.
“I watched Ramone play whenever Jackson would play,” Alex said. “He’s going to be good, I know for that sure.”
Rehagen knows how rare it is to have a freshman mature enough to handle playing time at the varsity level, much less at a skill position.
“Most of the time those guys don’t bump up quite so quick,” he said. “But (with Green), you see a kid who is doing some good stuff and he’s excited about it.”
Green has tried to be low-key about making an immediate impact on the varsity. During the pre-season, he proved he could handle the jump from junior high to varsity. But he never took for granted that he would be on the varsity roster.
“I wasn’t really told I was going to be on varsity,” Green said. “They invited me to a jayvee/varsity team camp and I did super good. So, as soon as practices started, they had me practicing with the freshmen and varsity. I was working really hard and they moved me up.”
Green moved to Nixa from Springfield two years ago and reports he's now a full-fledged Eagle.
“I came to Nixa in the seventh grade. I went to Pershing Middle for sixth grade,” he said. “I got all my friends here now. Life is going great."