JOHNSONBURG — When looking at the current crop of male athletes at Johnsonburg High School, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better all-around athlete than senior Austin Green.
The Ram has excelled in all three sports he plays — football, basketball and baseball — throughout his varsity career, putting up impressive numbers in each of them.
“I couldn’t pick a favorite. I have a really strong passion for all three,” said Green. “ I enjoy the competition, just constantly competing in practices and games. I also really enjoy the friendships and bonds you make with your teammates and becoming a family.”
Green, who began playing all three of his sports as a youth, starred for the Rams in both basketball and baseball and on the gridiron at Ridgway through the schools’ co-op for the sport.
On the hardwood, Green was a four-time letterman who helped the Rams win a District 9 Class A title his sophomore year (18-7 record) and reach the state playoffs each of his first three varsity seasons. Johnsonburg went 16-9 this past season, but the Rams fell in the D-9 Class A quarterfinals — one win short of reaching the PIAA playoffs for the fourth time in Green’s career.
Green played the role of super sub during that D-9 title season as a sophomore and actually led the team in scoring (242 points, 9.0 ppg) coming off the bench. He took on a more prominent scoring role his final two seasons.
He scored 503 points (18.6 ppg) his junior campaign while avering 5.9 rebounds, 3.3 steals and 2.0 assists a game. Then this past season as a senior, Green netted 393 points (15.7 ppg).
Green finished his Rams career with 1,239 points, which ranks him fifth in school history.
On the diamond, Green (middle infielder/pitcher) would have been a four-time letterman as well had spring sports not been cancelled because of COVID-19.
After hitting just .182 in 18 games as a freshman, Green enjoyed a breakout sophomore year while helping the Rams go 14-5 and capture a District 9 Class 2A title with a 12-7 win against Brockway.
Green went 3-for-5 with two RBIs and two runs scored in that championship game and finished his sophomore season with a .369 average (24-for-65). He added 10 RBIs and 15 runs scored.
The Ram saw his offensive numbers improve as a junior, as he hit .475 (29-for-61) with five doubles, 1 home run, 10 RBIs and 13 runs scored on a squad that went 10-9.
He never got the chance to hit the diamond one last time for his senior year though because of COVID-19.
“I think it was the right thing to do (to cancel sports, close schools), but for us seniors, it just sucks because this is our last time to do anything as high schoolers and make memories with our lifelong friends,” said Green. “For me, my last year of baseball was cancelled. It was definitely disappointing knowing I couldn’t take the field with my friends this season — knowing all the hard work and time we put in on the diamond wouldn’t be able to be shown our senior year.”
When it comes to football, Green was a three-time varsity lettermen and a member of three straight District 9 championship squads (1 in Class A, 2 in Class 2A) for Ridgway.
He reached the varsity level as a sophomore and had 15 tackles on defense that season. His role expanded as a junior, as he saw time on both sides of the ball. He caught 22 passes for 289 yards and five touchdowns that season while making 41 tackles on defense to go along with two interceptions and four fumble recoveries.
Green then put together a stellar senior season this past fall to help Ridgway post its second straight 11-2 season that resulted in a D-9 Class 2A title and the program’s fourth straight district crown overall.
He was a menace to defensive backs with his size and athletic ability, hauling in 42 catches for 685 yards and 11 TDs. He tied for the second most TD catches in the Tri-County Area and ranked fourth in receiving yards.
Defensively, he recorded 59 tackles to go along with two interceptions.
Given all his success, it should come as no surprise the Ram has fond memories from multiple sports.
“My favorite game would have to be the 2019 district championship in football,” said Green. “It’s my favorite because we were losing at halftime (28-14 to Clarion) and making the comeback that we did (56-35 victory) will always be one of my favorite memories.
“My favorite accomplishment would have to be scoring 1,000 points in basketball. It was always a goal of mine since I was little and making that come true was a huge milestone for me.”
Green played a major role in that comeback victory against Clarion in the District 9 Class A football title game last fall. He hauled in eight passes for 126 yards and three touchdowns. The Elkers had beaten the Bobcats 42-0 during the regukar season.
Although he played three sports, Green said balancing that with getting school work done was never an issue for him.
“When playing sports all year around, it is definitely different though,” he said. “When it comes to homework, you just have to try and do it before or after your practice depending when your practice is scheduled. Most importantly, though, make sure you keep your grades up so you can participate in sports and activities.”
Green, who has older sister, is the son of John and Kristin Green. He says his parents have both served as role models for him.
“I can’t just choose one,” said Green. “My dad has taught me just about everything I know about sports and has been working with me and helping since I was little.
“My mom, on the other hand, is my number one supporter. She never missed a single game of mine and is always there to cheer me on. They both impact my life tremendously.”
After graduation, Green plans to enter the workforce.