Ricky Green, in his fourth year on the varsity for Central High’s football team, has been named the Detroit Public School League’s first Proud Strong Learner of the Week for 2012-13. “I’m excited. I feel good about it,” Green said of the honor, representative of the PSL’s top boys and girls athletic performers as nominated by their coaches. The award is presented by the DPS Office of Athletics and sponsored for the third year in a row by Detroit-area McDonald’s owner-operators.
Green, a 6-0, 235-pound center and middle linebacker, earned the nod after dominating on both sides of the ball in the Trailblazers’ 30-7 season-opening nonleague victory Friday at Northwestern. “Ricky had 16 tackles to lead our defense and he helped clear the way for our offense to move the ball and score,” Central first-year coach Robert Hunt said.
The successful opener has Green and the Trailblazers eyeing a big turnaround after finishing with a 1-7 league and 1-8 overall record last season. “Last year was real tough, but we’re going to prove everybody wrong,” Green said. “We’re focused on trying to win the city championship and, hopefully, going to the states. We’re going to be good this year.”
Just two seasons ago, Green was on a Central team that won the PSL Division II title when league champions were crowned in two separate divisions. It gets tougher with this year’s East-West division alignment and just one city championship up for grabs.
The Trailblazers open the PSL season Friday against visiting Douglass, last year’s Division II champions, and Green is confident Central has enough talent to be a contender. “Hard work and dedication, desire and determination, that’s what it’s going to take,” he said.
Central is one of six established DPS high schools that are now part of the EAA. But the Trailblazers’ rich legacy, as well as the athletics programs at Denby, Ford, Pershing, Mumford and Southeastern, remains a part of the DPS-administered PSL.
“We still have the photos of (Eric) Crume (now a Syracuse University sophomore lineman) and Andre Person up on the wall in the school,” said Hunt, referring to Central’s previously-named Proud Strong Learners of the Week. “It’s great to see our kids getting recognition.” He says Green, who hopes to earn a college football scholarship and major in business, is a worthy addition to that list.
“He has a good foundation and just has to remain the positive young man he’s been his whole life,” Hunt said. “I’ve known his parents my whole life. We all graduated from Central together. Me and his mother even went to kindergarten together.
“Ricky has the talent to play college football at a big-time level. It’s the same with most of our kids. He just has to take care of business in the classroom to get the grades and (test) scores he needs to qualify for the NCAA. He has the ability.”
The Detroit Public School League Proud Strong Learner of the Week award is representative of the league’s top boys and girls athletes. The award is presented by the DPS Office of Athletics and sponsored for the third year in a row by Detroit-area McDonald’s owner-operators.
Sports Information Director
Detroit Public Schools