Lee County linebacker Dextric Green reads to a group of young students recently. The junior, who leads the teams in tackles, spends Friday mornings reading to area elementary school children and then steps on the field Friday evenings to lead the defense for the Herald No. 1 Trojans. (Submitted photo)
LEESBURG — Dextric Green scrambles to make sure everything is in order before he and his first period weightlifting classmates board the bus and head for Kinchafoonee Primary School in Leesburg.
It’s Friday morning and Green knows it will be a long day. As much as he will enjoy playing linebacker for the Lee County Trojans later in the evening, the short trip to Kinchafoonee Primary will be one of his highlights of the day.
This morning, Green and several of his teammates will be reading to elementary students, who decide which book they want read. Green obliges, opens the book and begins reading to a group of mesmerized students who believe he is as famous as professional sports figures four hours to the north in Atlanta.
“Those kids, they inspire me,” said the soft-spoken Green. “I always enjoy reading to them. I remember when I sat there (in primary school) when I was younger. I was like ‘Wow.’ I couldn’t wait to read to the students when I got older.”
Green’s biggest fans may be the ones who are still interested in reading Dr. Seuss books and watching cartoons and Disney programs on TV. To them, he’s a star.
He’s also become a star to Lee County football fans and coaches, who view the 5-foot-8, 167-pound linebacker as the next standout to potentially play major college football.
In six games this season, Green has recorded 57 ½ tackles, including five for loss with one quarterback sack. He leads the team in tackles and is part of a defensive unit that is allowing just 8.7 points per game. Lee County is open this week, but the Herald No. 1 Trojans (6-0) face perhaps their biggest game of the season next week when they travel to Thomasville to meet perennial state power Thomas County Central.
A two-year starter, Green started at safety as a freshman then was moved to linebacker as a sophomore last season where he earned All-Region honors.
His biggest attributes may be his success in the classroom and his leadership abilities. He maintains a 3.85 grade-point average, and Lee coaches are so comfortable with him on the field that he makes all the defensive calls.
“He has a tremendous amount of quickness and the ability to run through people,” Lee County coach Dean Fabrizio said. “He’s a big-time hitter, and he certainly brings it.”
For his younger fans, they love watching No. 7. Nobody has asked him for an autograph, but he said he laughs at some of the things the students say.
Two weeks ago, it was Youth Night when the Trojans played host to Dodge County. The students lined the side of the tunnel when the Lee players walked out of the fieldhouse on their way to the field. The players slapped hands and high-fived the young students.
“I heard one of the kids tell some of the others, ‘That’s Dextric Green … he’s a hard hitter,’ ” Green said. “I couldn’t help but smile. It’s a chance for them to interact with us.”
Unlike the guy Kinchafoonee students see at the front of their classroom reading a book to them, he’s different when the lights flash on Friday nights. His teammates say he has a motor that never stops.
“Some people look over him and they think he may be too small,” defensive lineman Ronald Wilson said. “But he’s the heart of our defense and one of the leaders on our team. He makes sure everybody else does what they’re supposed to do.”
No doubt he does.