Editor's note: This story is featured in the Daily Citizen-News' weekly high school football Touchdown! section. Grab an issue in papers on Fridays during football season, or stop by our office for a copy.
CHATSWORTH --During his freshman year at North Murray High School, you could find Kade Greeson in the student section cheering on the Mountaineer football team.
Three years later, he's still in the stadium. But he's no longer in the student section. He's on the field as a starting wide receiver/defensive back.
The climb from trying out for the team to being a starter wasn't easy, Greeson said, and it was a bit embarrassing in the beginning. At that first practice, a teammate had to show him how to put his pads on correctly.
"It was starting from scratch," said Greeson, a senior who is also a shooting guard for the North Murray basketball team. "I really didn't know anything. I just started playing because I thought it would be fun. All of my friends had been trying to get me to play and I knew all of the coaches."
It's been a quick rise for the senior, who came out to spring practice at the end of his freshman year with a dearth of football knowledge. When Greeson tried out for the team, coach Preston Poag was skeptical yet never doubted the new player.
"When he first came out, I was like, 'We'll see," Poag said. "This is one thing with me, and has been my philosophy. I've never been one to say 'That kid's not going to play.' Never. He's a great example of that. You don't ever know how kids are going to develop, how their drive is, how they're going to work and how tough they are."
Poag has been impressed with Greeson's toughness, as the senior has fought through a shoulder injury this season. Against Coahulla Creek on Sept. 20, Poag held Greeson out due to that ailment. Toward the end of the game, fellow senior Hayden Hulett approached Poag with a request: Put Greeson in the game and let him score his first touchdown.
"We got down there and ran a little play for him and he scored -- the only play he played the whole game," Poag said. "I tell you, just to watch how those kids were excited for him was a big deal. It gives me chills just thinking about it. His parents were so proud of him after the game. His first touchdown. His dream came true."
Greeson -- along with the rest of the football program -- is looking to fulfill another dream in winning the school's first region title. The Mountaineers (7-1, 6-0 in Region 6-3A) control their destiny as they face Lakeview Fort-Oglethorpe tonight on the road and host Sonoraville next Friday to close out the season.
"It's been awesome, but we kind of expected ourselves to do that," Greeson said. "Outside of our program, nobody really expected us to do the things we were going to do except us because we're here every day, and we put in the work so we just want to keep on going."