High School Football

‘I could have lost my life.’ How local football player inspires others after injury

Memorial Day weekend 2018 was a time to be with family and celebrate this nation, but it turned into the worst day ever for Arlington Lamar’s Brett Green Jr.

Green, an incoming junior, was playing safety and receiver against Southlake Carroll during the state 7-on-7 qualifier at LD Bell High School when he was struck by an elbow while going for a reception. He was knocked out unconscious and taken to the ICU at JPS Trauma Center.

He was responsive the following morning, but spent six weeks in the hospital.

Green suffered double vision, a broken sternum and brain trauma.

“I was bummed about not being able to play, but I was never angry,” said Green, who was visited by some of the Carroll players while at the hospital. “All I cared about was getting better and being grateful. I could’ve lost my life, but I didn’t and I’m thankful. I’m still on that road to recovery, but no setbacks. I’m not 100 percent, but I’m about 85 percent, which is a drastic change from Day 1.”

Green, who would’ve started in the secondary last season, instead found himself taking on a different role: a coach.

Seeing him on the sidelines, which he was on for every game last season, served as a huge inspiration for his teammates.

“Having Brett back on the sideline with us is a miracle and it makes the team play better,” Lamar junior safety Harold West said. “We are all inspired to play hard and give it everything we got.”

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Arlington Lamar’s Brett Green is recovering at JPS Trauma Center. His coach Laban DeLay and father Brett Green Sr. says he is progressing really well. Brett Green Sr. Courtesy

The Vikings started 9-0 and finished 11-2 with a trip to the third round of the playoffs.

He was also there when Lamar went to the state 7-on-7 tournament in College Station June 28-29. The Vikings made it to the championship bracket and beat Austin Westlake in the first round.

“We didn’t want him to go anywhere and he wanted to be there with us,” Lamar head coach Laban DeLay said. “The team all rallied around him and part of our success goes to Brett. He gave us a positive impact emotionally and spiritually. He’s a great kid and we’re all happy to see him improving everyday.”

Green became an assistant under defensive coordinator and DBs coach Billy Skinner.

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Arlington Lamar’s Brett Green is recovering at JPS Trauma Center. He was visited by some players from Southlake Carroll including QB Will Bowers (middle) and DB R.J. Mickens (right). Brett Green Sr. Courtesy

“I love it. Still being apart of sport activities makes me happy and you already know I’m going to get my boys right,” Green said. “It does feel a little weird attempting to coach young men around my age and especially my friends.”

Green played safety, running back and slot on Lamar’s freshman team, which went 7-3 in 2017. He also was part of the varsity track team and a member of the relay team that went to the regional meet. He also loves to play the violin.

“Brett is the definition of a great teammate. Before he got hurt and after he got hurt he has had the same attitude about everything,” Lamar senior quarterback Jack Dawson said. “He still jokes around with all of us, and comes to every team event. It is truly amazing that he’s back with us, but for him to keep the same attitude about football and life is a whole different level of selflessness.”

Added DeLay, “He continues to help out at practice and at games and is still apart of the family.”

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Born and raised in Hawaii, Brian Gosset graduated from Northern Arizona University with a degree in journalism before coming to Texas in 2014. He’s covered high school sports — yes, pretty much every high school sport — for the Star-Telegram ever since.