Welcome to the Green 13
We had close to 10K athletes go through Lead ‘Em Up Live Training last year and in each of those instances we share our message of athletes needing to be “Green.”
For simplification purposes, green represents “money”, which is a synonym in today’s vocabulary for “special.”
As we traveled the country we wanted to spotlight those athletes that stood out as special, that were “money” teammates and 100% Green. This isn’t referring to them as athletes but rather as people; their leadership and character.
With so many incredible young leaders narrowing the list down wasn’t easy but we were able to get down to our final 13. Once we identified the 13 we did additional research on each athlete to confirm those selected truly were “green,” not just in-season but rather all-seasons. In each instance, everyone passed the approval test.
As part of Green 13 each athlete will be presented a Lead ‘Em Up swag pack with a special Green Team verification check-mark as well as FREE CHICK-FIL-A FOR AN ENTIRE YEAR courtesy of our friends at Chick-Fil-A (Kayla Smith – Owner/Operator CFA – Germantown).
We’d like to introduce to you the 2019/2020 Green 13
Octavian Smith – Paint Branch High School – Football – Quarterback
Octavian Smith, aka as Tay, the young sophomore phenom Quarterback for the mighty Paint Branch Panthers impressed from Day One. He’s a front-row learner. Locked-in, listening intently, processing everything he was hearing with a complete growth mindset. Tay showed incredible maturity as he was one of the first to greet me each session and thank me at the end of every session. In addition, Tay went out of his way to show additional appreciation with unsolicited timely messages for the Lead ‘Em Up program. Tay had a focus and drive that helped him lead by example but he never settled on his example alone, he always did more. Tay is GREEN. Keep your eye on #5 – special things to come.
Preston Murray – Damascus High School – Basketball & Football – Headed to Georgetown
There aren’t many young people as special as Preston Murray, the football & basketball stand-out at Damascus High School. An all-around incredible young man whose talent (which is leading him to Georgetown next year) is surpassed by his character. It was clear Preston enjoyed the challenge of growing as a leader. His engagement in every session was incredible and every leadership “rep” Preston stepped up with an attempt to dominate. Preston has a series of dynamic leadership traits but I’d say his consistency (he gives you everything, every time) and his overall joy (always positive and upbeat) are the two that stand out most.
Jao Ituka – Gaithersburg High School – Basketball
The maturation of Jao Ituka is one Hollywood writes movies about. Born in Cameroon and mischievously going through his childhood, Jao entered into high school and everything changed. A light went off. Jao began to live out his hashtag #IJTGB (I’m Just Trying Get Better) and embrace the role of a leader. He has stayed committed to his public school and AAU team despite major interest in the region and has poured everything he has into trying to raise the game of those around him, while elevating himself to All-Met 3rd Team Honors. Jao is just different, in a good way. Jao has begun mentoring local elementary school students and has expressed interest in interning for Lead ‘Em Up while he’s in College.
Sharif Munn – Walter Johnson High School – Football
For 24 Thursdays over the last two years there were a few things that were 100% certain: Shariff Munn was greeting his teammates at the door of the wrestling room, he was seated front row (slightly to the right) during the entire leadership session and stayed after to talk about ways to grow and improve. Sharif consistently showed up day in and day out as the player who wanted to absorb as much knowledge as possible. His engagement was unparalleled and he wanted to participated in every leadership rep opportunity. His size can be intimidating but his steadiness is calming.
Anna Baisden – Damascus High School – Cheerleader
The youngest member of this year’s Green 13, Anna was the star freshman on the legendary Varsity Damascus cheer squad. Green athletes stand-out and Anna stood out from day one. She has a joy, a contagious spirit and positivity that can be felt all through the room. We talk about feeling like sunshine in every room you’re in and Anna feels that way.
Emily Hinckley & Maddie Houghton – Sanborn Regional High School – Basketball
This spot on the Green 13 is being shared by the dynamic duo of Emily Hinckley and Maddie Houghton of Sanborn Regional High School in New Hampshire. Leaders on their girls Varsity basketball team as well as their Life of a Student leadership group, these two are leaving their mark on Sanborn in an incredible way. Emily and Maddie bleed green. They are also responsible for creating the Sanborn Green Team social account spotlighting all green activities and green people happening in and around their school community.
Bryan Bresee – Damascus High School – Football & Basketball – Headed to Clemson
If you’ve paid attention to high school football in any capacity over the last year, you almost certainly are aware of Bryan Bresee; the 5-Star #1 High School Football player in 2019 who has graduated Damascus early and is currently down at Clemson. Bryan gets a tremendous amount of attention because of his size and athletic ability and not enough on his leadership and character. He’s the real deal on both sides of the game. Bryan has been connected to the Lead ‘Em Up program since his freshmen year and has gone from the back row to the front row, literally. Despite all his success, humility remained. Bryan participated in every Lead ‘Em Up session sitting front and center, participating in every leadership rep opportunity and was the voice re-focusing all his teammates. Bryan’s passion on the field transfers over to his passion to be a leader; combining the two almost guarantees success.
Eric Kolar – Urbana High School – Football & Lacrosse
Arguably the most talented player in Frederick County, dominating on both the football & lacrosse fields (and earning a scholarship to play lacrosse at the University of Maryland) Eric Kolar is as good of a person you will ever come across in high school. Eric (and his brother Jason – who’s also on the list) are living examples of the benefits a young person who has an incredible family foundation and strong mentors surrounding them, gets to experience. Despite having so much leadership already instilled in him, Eric approached the leadership training as if he had so much room to grow. He exhibited the hunger common among leaders. Constantly engaged, thoughtful with his communication, demonstrating a perfect balance of focus and fun; and defined his leadership by leading with a near-perfect example for others.
Jason Kolar – Urbana High School – Football & Lacrosse
The other half of the dynamic Kolar twin duo, Jason is equally as special as his brother Eric when it comes to his leadership. Jason possessed a natural enthusiasm, an incredible curiosity, a joyful greeting and exhibited an incredible emotional consistency; which is one of the biggest challenges high school athletes struggle with in their leadership. You know what you’re getting from Jason every day, every time. Committed to Delaware to play lacrosse, the Blue Hens will be getting what the Hawks have been getting, a special player who’s a special leader.
Mario Herrera – Springbrook High School – Football
Find me a player who works hard, has tremendous enthusiasm, is willing to do whatever is needed and doesn’t have an ego thinking he’s too cool, and that will be a player I want on my team. Mario fits that description. Mario consistently showed up with a smile on his face, was engaged in the process and helped bring a joy to the entire team environment. Mario is the type of player who makes an impression and raises the level of the room. Only a junior, his senior leadership will be depended on in a major way for the Springbrook Blue Devils football team.
Jake Rosen – Churchill High School – Basketball
Green 13 doesn’t exist if not for Jake Rosen. After sharing with Jake that he was one of the most special young leaders to go through Lead ‘Em Up, as a true competitor, he wanted to know who else was at the top of the list. At the time there was no list. Now there is and he of course is on it. One of the best communicators, eager-to-learn, focused and relationship-building young people I’ve ever met; Jake made a major impression from day one. Despite experiencing a health scare mid-season that sidelined him the second-half of his senior season, Jake remained as committed to the Churchill basketball family as if he was the one getting his number called at the end of the game. His love for his team and his teammates is as strong as I’ve ever seen in any young player.
Jalen Curtis – Good Counsel High School – Basketball
Jalen has that type of personality and presence that makes you want to be friends with him. He’s fun. He’s engaging. He’s welcoming. He’s special. From day one, Jalen welcomed Lead ‘Em Up to the Good Counsel basketball program and embraced everything being taught. Like most leaders, he understood the importance and need to grow as a leader and would occasionally carry the session over to text message to continue the conversation. Jalen has the incredible ability to balance being focused and fun and was never too cool to embrace the leadership rep and try to get better.
Marcus Bradley – Quince Orchard High School – Football
Marcus Bradley will get your attention with his size and frame which has helped him earn his choice on where he wants to play college football at. But equally as special, is who he is, and the character of this young man. From day one he’s been engaged in growing as a leader. He’s welcoming to others, humble, coachable, consistent and will do whatever you need him to do. As a leader for the powerhouse Quince Orchard football program, Marcus is creating an environment where others are following his lead and as a result, the QO football program is in great hands moving forward.
Toddreis Baltimore – QO Football
David Gardner – Walter Johnson Football
Cole Holland – Walter Johnson Football
Steven Drabick – Urbana Lacrosse
Nadev Stern – Churchill Basketball
Marquez Cooper – QO Football
Dylan Ettinger – Churchill Poms
Anthony Villacis – Walter Johnson Football
Aaron Jones – Walter Johnson Football
Ryan Flax – Churchill Basketball
Will Simpkins – QO Football
Demeioun Robinson – QO Football
Adilia Sequeira – Watkins Mill Field Hockey
Demetrius Rush – Watkins Mill Football
Finnigan Schirmer – Marengo High School
Ethan Rindner – Churchill Basketball
Ryan Crean – Urbana Youth Football
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Have fun and #LeadEmUp