By Lee Horton
Peninsula Daily News
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OL: Al Serrano (Sequim)
OL: Roberto Coronel (Port Angeles)
OL: Bill Hansen (Neah Bay)
OL: Max Ghai (Port Townsend)
OL: Trevon Noel Chim
RB: Cody Cummins (Neah Bay)
RB: Tim Russell (Port Townsend)
RB: Matt Cain (Port Townsend)
RB: Matt Mohr (Clallam Bay)
WR: Brett Wright (Sequim)
QB: Josiah Greene (Neah Bay) — MVP
QB: Jacob King (Port Townsend)
DL: Skyler Coppenrath (Port Townsend)
DL: Leo Gonzales (Forks)
DL: Alex Reierson (Port Townsend)
DL: John Reamer (Neah Bay)
LB: Tyler McCaulley (Neah Bay)
LB: Dimitri Sampson (Forks)
LB: Matt Robbins (Port Angeles)
DB/LB: Josh King (Quilcene)
DB/DE: Ezekiel Greene (Neah Bay)
DB: Jacob Pleines (Quilcene)
DB: Steven Lauderback (Port Angeles)
Coach: Tony McCaulley (Neah Bay)
Greene will play quarterback for the Pioneers, an NAIA team located in Olathe, Kan.
In his four-plus years under center for Neah Bay High School (he started a few games as an eighth-grader), Greene led the Red Devils to three straight Class 1B state championship games, of which they won two, including the 2013 title.
Greene was named 1B Player of the Year by The Associated Press as a sophomore and a senior. He also received two defensive all-state honors from the AP.
As a senior, Josiah completed 60 percent of his passes for 1,720 yards and 28 touchdowns with only two interceptions. He rushed for another 1,463 yards and 19 touchdowns on 105 carries.
And, for the second year in a row, Greene has been chosen as the All-Peninsula Football MVP.
Off the field, Greene plans to study chemistry at MidAmerica Nazarene, where his teammates will include past All-Peninsula Football MVPs Keenen Walker of Port Angeles and Sequim's Isaac Yamamoto, as well as 2012 All-Peninsula running back Lopaka Yasamura of Sequim.
“I like science. Just all the different stuff that can happen, all the different stuff you have to know,” Greene said.
With the Red Devils, Greene aced chemistry.
Neah Bay's entire focus this season was winning the state championship. After winning one in 2011 and falling on the last play in the 2012 title game, it was a reasonable expectation.
Greene's individual goal was simply to be a part of it.
“I just wanted to be a team player. You know, do whatever it takes for my team,” Greene said.
“Because we had a really good team this year, we were solid everywhere.”
Yes, despite the accolades and gaudy statistics and being the state's biggest name in 8-man football the past few years, Greene was as impressed with his teammates as he was with himself.
“He's a really, really caring person,” Neah Bay head coach Tony McCaulley said.
“He cares a lot about his teammates and his family.”
Greene played the entire postseason with a painful hamstring injury. It took away much of his explosiveness, but he wasn't going to let his teammates down.
“A lot of kids wouldn't have played,” McCaulley said. “He is an extremely tough kid — pain tolerance, will to win, whatever it is.
“And that bleeds down to the team. Everything he did — and that our other leaders, like Tyler [McCaulley], did — it all bleeds down to the team.
“You can't measure that.”
The injury slowed him, but while he wasn't as explosive, he still was exceptional.
In Neah Bay's three playoff wins against Cusick, Lummi and Touchet, Greene passed for 439 years and seven touchdowns and ran for 359 yards and four touchdowns.
And, despite the pain, he didn't rest on defense.
With the Red Devils leading 14-12 late in the first half of the championship game, Touchet drove the ball down near the end zone.
On fourth-and-goal, the Indians called a trick play. Quarterback Elias Martinez handed the ball off and then sprinted into the end zone to catch a pass, which Greene jumped in front of and batted down to preserve Neah Bay's lead.
Touchet didn't score again until the fourth quarter. By then, it was a foregone conclusion that the Red Devils were going to be the state champs.
Greene, however, is a quarterback first. And McCaulley expects Greene will be able to adjust to the 11-man game at MidAmerica Nazarene.
“I think he'll be fine. The game is played a lot the same,” McCaulley said.
“He'll work hard at it, his arm strength is good, he's a smart kid. His mechanics are a work in progress, but they have already improved so much.”
Greene (6-foot-3, 200 pounds) has excelled in his previous 11-man football experience, including a 50-6 win against Darrington, which spent most of the season ranked in the Class 2B polls, in the season-opener and in 7-on-7 competitions during the summer.
“He sees the field really good,” McCaulley said, adding that other coaches have noted this.
“They start shaking their heads, 'And you guys play 8-man?'”
Essentially, the sky is the limit for Greene at MidAmerica Nazarene.
Except for one thing.
“I wanted to go study astronomy, but they didn't have it,” Greene said.
Sports Editor Lee Horton can be reached at 360-417-3525 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.