Green 13 is one of the highlights of the year for our team at Lead ‘Em Up. This is our third year of The Green 13 and we received more nominations than ever before. It was very difficult to narrow down the list to just 13 winners, but that’s what makes this award all the more prestigious.
A few weeks ago we opened up the nomination window and quickly began to receive deserving nominations from coaches all across the country. Once we selected the winners we did a little more research to verify each nominee’s “green” status, and we can say confidently that each individual was 100% GREEN.
We are proud to present the third annual group of Green 13 Award recipients
Matthieu Longa – Quince Orchard High School, MD – Football
Matthieu is the model of consistency. As one of the leaders on Quince Orchard’s State Championship, when asked which teammate they admire the most, his teammates unanimously selected him. He leads by example and so much more. He makes his voice heard when need be, he builds relationships throughout, he views everything through a team-first lens and always deflects all praise towards his teammates. Mattieu is a winner, as a player and as a leader. He is an excellent choice for the 2022 GREEN 13!
Peter Mangan – Damascus High School – Basketball
Peter seeks feedback from his coaches and holds himself to the highest of standards. Coach Brian Humphrey said Peter’s approach lays the foundation that everyone on the team has to also hold themselves to that same high standard. The way Peter consistently encourages his teammates makes him the ideal leader of a team. Peter has internalized the lessons he has learned from Lead ‘Em Up and used them to make himself someone his coaches are so proud to say they get to coach. Peter’s coaches say he is the best team leader a coach could ask for and most deserving of this GREEN 13 honor!
Alex Hogsett – Shining Light Academy, NC – Basketball
Alex’s coach Kaleb Money remarked, “Alex has been the most eager and hardworking student athlete we had in the Lead ‘Em Up program.” Countless times Alex asked his coaches to give him an update on his leadership skills and not what he could do better as a player. He knew the greatest impact for his team would be to become a great leader. Alex has no fear as a leader. He trusts his preparation and would have the courage to speak up when necessary. Coach Money stated Alex wasn’t afraid of not being considered “cool” – he believed in what his coaches and team were building. Alex was thrilled to kick off the Lead ‘Em Up program at Shining Light and get started. Alex was so diligent and worked so hard to make sure he texted the guys every day and encouraged them to stick to their standards. Alex was voted unanimously by his team as its first green verified player and he won his team’s MVG award, and is now a member of the 2022 GREEN 13!
Chris Castle – Harpers Creek, MI – Football
Chris is a 3 sport star at Harper Creek High School. He plays Football, Basketball and runs Track. Coach Mason Converse said Chris is one of the most Green Athletes he has ever been around. Chris has a passion and drive to be the best in everything he does (not just sports). Chris served as a great Lifeguard for his team. He is always talking to, interacting with, high-fiving and pulling teammates aside. He also pushes them to be their best and not settle for average. Harper Creek has been using Lead ‘Em Up for three years now and Chris Castle has bought into the program and developed his leadership as much as any player has in coach Converse’s program. Chris exemplifies what it means to be green and to hold teammates to their Green Standards. Chris was the glue that held his team together. Coach Converse stated, “ I could not be more proud of the player, teammate and LEADER Chris became during his time at Harper Creek.” Chris Castle is a great addition to the 2022 GREEN 13!
Mercedes Levesque – Carterville High School, IL – LEAD Class /Track/Cheer
Mercedes is described as being consistently positive, and her fun-loving outlook is magnetic to those around her. Mercedes chooses to help those around her, provide kind words, encourage classmates to participate, and stand up when one is standing alone. She isn’t worried about popularity and often takes the road less traveled–even so, she is well loved and respected by her peers. Mercedes was the first student to get verified this semester in her LEAD class. Her ability to represent the GREEN extends from the classroom to the track. Holland Neally, who is one of Mercedes teachers and coaches, had this to say about her: “Mercedes was green, is green, and will be a student/athlete that continues to be green. Mercedes is an outstanding student, athlete, and young woman.” Coach Neally believes Mercedes will encourage hundreds of students years after her high school career as she desires to become a teacher. Mercedes is 100% a GREEN leader!
Eli Johnson – Calvary Day School, NC – Basketball
Eli is described as a good teammate who is both unselfish and humble. Eli is a leader on and off the court. His leadership was modeled all year long in the highs and lows of the season. Eli was the only returning player on his team this year as a senior. He had a great attitude and made the best of his senior season to be an example for years to come. Coach Joe Rybak said, “Eli was the hardest worker and competitor on our team this year!” Eli is a great example of a green team guy. He was the first guy that the whole team voted Green this season. Eli was always cheering on his teammates in practice and on the sideline and was always willing to do whatever it took to put his teammates in the best position to succeed.
Weston Trombly – White River Valley High School, VT – CBL, Basketball, Baseball
Weston is described as an individual who is hard working, committed to the cause, and a person of high character. Wes exhibits many moments of top leadership and Green Standards, from times on the sports field when he takes the positive approach to inspire his team; to times when he helps others through his many service activities with the Volunteer Fire Dept.; and his overall caring and leading ways around the school to inspire strong citizenship. Weston exemplified all of his team’s Lead ‘Em Up Green Standards of: Helpful, Respectful, Positive, Empathetic and Confident. One of his coaches, Mary Waterman remarked, “I would want him on any team or group where I was aiming to achieve through goals. because he can make good things happen!” Weston is most deserving to be a member of the 2022 GREEN 13!
Reagan Nohrenberg – Air Academy High School, CO – Lacrosse
Reagan is a positive leader who leads with integrity and is always providing encouragement to her teammates. Her attitude and love of the team is described as exceptional. Her teammates who will play in college next year respect her immensely, which is a massive statement about her character. Coach Kali Maxwell commented, “ Reagan is the most natural leader I have had a chance to work with, and never once have I had to have a conversation with her about things she has said or choices she has made.” A great example of her leadership was when two of her teammates, who attend another school, had a choir concert after practice. Reagan bought a ticket and went and sat by herself in a school where she knew no one. This was a huge deal for these two players, and it meant the world to them that Reagan was willing to take the time to come to support them in something other than lacrosse. Reagan is most definitely a GREEN leader!
Grant Rodny – Air Academy High School, CO – Lacrosse
Grant is a quiet leader that leads by example. He is always present and most of the time the first one to the field. He studies the game and works hard on his own time to improve his skills. Grant has been a leader in his program since his freshman year. He battled through illness and injuries throughout the season and showed up big when his team needed him most. Grant is someone who teammates looked to for how to be present and how to work hard for your goals. Coach Ethan Hilberg said, “Grant has inspired several teammates and made a lasting impact as he is a senior and leaves these imprints on freshman. Grant is a player that has created an environment that expects their teammates to work hard and play with class in wins and losses.” We are proud to have Grant as a member of the 2022 GREEN 13!
Noah McKenzie – North Raleigh Christian Academy, NC – Basketball
Noah is described as a leader who is coachable, encouraging, and energetic. Noah suffered an injury during football season which caused him to miss several weeks at the beginning of the season. However, he was at every practice and game helping coach and lead his teammates. Coach Ronnie Kruger said, “I wish I could clone Noah’s leadership for years to come.” Noah was always ready to step up when his team needed him most. Whether it was to make a big play, provide words of encouragement, or lead by example, Noah was there to lead. He was always there to push teammates to be their best and to provide encouragement to those who needed it behind the scenes. Noah was unanimously voted “green” by his teammates on multiple occasions. It is clear by how his teammates and coaches viewed him that Noah McKenzie is definitely deserving to be a member of the GREEN 13!
Justice Keller – Sunrise Christian Academy, KS – Basketball
Justice is described as 100% genuine. He only cares about the team and his teammates. He knows when his leadership is needed and when it’s ok to let others lead him. Coach Jeff Peterson said, “ Lead ‘Em Up would have been effective without him on our team, but it was 10x better received with him actively participating. I’ve been coaching for 14 years. I’ve only had one other player like Justice, and I probably won’t have another one like him again for a while.” Justice particularly excelled this season in his leadership of his “SIX”. He went out of his way, often going above and beyond, to provide leadership and encouragement to his “SIX”. His coaches say Justice has an incredible feel for the pulse of the team at any given moment.
He is very empathetic. He can relate with everyone and respond accordingly. Justice leaned into the Lead ‘Em Up curriculum and helped to create significant buy-in from his teammates, and is certainly a deserving member of the 2022 GREEN 13!
Jarren Rutter – Francis Scott Key High School, MD – Football
Jarren is a resilient, dedicated, and coachable leader who made a tremendous impact on his football team. Head coach Will Thompson stated, “Jarren has been at the forefront of changing the mindset/culture of the program and our players.” Coaches also noted Jarren was always the first one at the weight room, field, or any other team event, and often the last to leave. There were several players who envied Jarren due to his above and beyond work ethic, but Jarren was able to get some of these players to buy in and become green. Jarren suffered an extremely painful injury near the end of the season but he told his coach, “Coach, I have worked so hard, the guys expect me to lead, I am not missing a game.” Jarren embodies the word leadership in everything he does and is a great addition to the 2022 GREEN 13!
Mack Carson – De Soto High School, KS – Basketball
Mackenzie is described as a leader who is humble, consistent, and encouraging. She has consistently been one of her team’s top performers on the court. With all of the success and accolades that came along with it, Mack was always quick to acknowledge her teammates and divert the attention away from her personal gains. In a game when she could have made it all about her, she recognized it would not have been possible without her teammates. No task was beneath her and she would often be found serving her program’s younger kids in many capacities. Mack is the ultimate encourager. She exudes positivity and goes out of her way to encourage her teammates. Coach Ryan Robie said, “There have been few players that I have had the opportunity to coach over the past 15 years that have impacted our program and our school the way Mack Carson has. She wants the best for everyone around her, cares deeply about her teammates and consistently shows up green.” Mack Carson is the perfect individual to round out the 2022 GREEN 13!
We are proud of this outstanding group of athletes who are showing up special on their teams and in their communities.
We would also like to thank our friends at Chick-Fil-A, particularly Kayla Smith owner-operator CFA Germantown, for their incredible support of Lead ‘Em Up and the GREEN 13!