West Mifflin's Greene Athlete of Week
Shamar Greene is an unassuming football player, so it comes naturally for him to deflect his own success and credit those around him for his accomplishments.
"The line is nice, but they're just doing their job," Greene said. "It ain't because I'm back there. It's because they're doing their job and they want to win just as much as I do."
Whether he appreciates it or not, Greene, the West Mifflin running back and Daily News Player of the Week, has been an integral part of the Titans' success. The 5-foot-7, 175-pound senior has picked up where he left off as a 1,000-yard rusher in 2010, running for 925 yards and 12 touchdowns in the first eight games.
"As a person he's a great kid, who works hard and works hard in the weight room," West Mifflin coach Ray Braszo said. "He's not a big kid, but he's a powerful kid and he just has fun running. He runs like he loves the game. He never complains, he never wants time off, even if he has little injuries and he's a pleasure to coach and a super running back."
Last week against Chartiers Valley, Greene sparked the team early with a 31-yard run on the first play from scrimmage and dazzled the Colts defense as he racked up 19 carries for 141 yards and two touchdowns in the Titans' 47-8 win that clinched a home game for West Mifflin (7-1, 5-1) in the first round of the WPIAL Class AAA playoffs Nov. 4.
West Mifflin can clinch a share of its first Big Eight Conference championship in six years with a win against Thomas Jefferson (6-2, 6-0) on Friday in its regular-season finale. The Jaguars have won 37 consecutive conference games, but the last team to beat them was the Titans, 28-15, on Oct. 21, 2005.
It's a much different scenario than last season when the Titans barely qualified for the playoffs as a 4-5 team, were dealt the No. 16 seed in the tournament and held their own against top-seeded Montour before losing, 21-13.
"We're doing better and we're working harder than last year," Greene said. "Last year, everybody was thinking about themselves instead of thinking about the team and this year, we're one. We're a team."
West Mifflin leads the conference with an average of 34.1 points per game, thanks in large part to Greene's running ability.
Others considered: Tyler Boyd • Clairton: The Bears junior FBS prospect carried 11 times for 126 yards and four touchdowns, one receiving, completed a pass for 46 yards and also intercepted a pass on defense in a 35-6 win over Fort Cherry.
Ryan Ruffing • Thomas Jefferson: Ruffing has gotten better as the season has progressed and, last week against Belle Vernon, he carried 17 times for 175 yards and two touchdowns and also caught a 44-yard pass for another score. He needs 20 yards for 1,000 this season.
Eddie Stockett • McKeesport: Stockett was efficient last week in a 42-0 win over Hempfield as he completed 11 of 16 for 221 yards and two touchdowns and also ran for a third. He has thrown for 1,577 yards and 16 touchdowns this season.