BOONE — Watauga safety Jackson Greene is in a final transition in his young football career.
The Watauga 2019 graduate has already agreed to walk on to Appalachian State and has been working with some of his teammates. But, Greene also has one final high school football game to play. That game is the East-West All-Star game, which is July 17 at Greensboro Grimsley High School.
Greene played a big role in Watauga’s 13-1 record last season both at quarterback and at safety. He was rewarded with a chance to walk on the Appalachian State football team.
Greene will stay at safety for both Appalachian State and in the all-star game. He will be playing for the West team under former Appalachian State running back and current Monroe head coach Johnny Sowell.
The players report to Greensboro on July 12. There is a banquet for the players on July 14.
“I’m looking forward to it,” Greene said. “I’m looking forward to the experience and what it has to offer.”
Greene put up impressive numbers for the Pioneers at safety and at quarterback. He was third on the team with 59.5 tackles, 46 of them being solo stops. He broke up seven passes and led the Pioneers with five interceptions. One of the interceptions was returned for a touchdown.
Offensively, Greene rushed for 649 yards and scored six touchdowns in the six games he replaced injured starter Anderson Castle at quarterback. Greene took over for Castle after the starter broke his wrist on the third play of the season at T.C. Roberson.
Greene also completed 25-of-43 passes for 612 yards and seven touchdowns with just one interception. Greene has not had much contact with the West staff, but will know more about his role next week.
“I know I’m playing safety, but I haven’t talked to them much other than that,” Greene said. “I’ll probably know more once I get down there.”
Greene is the lone football player from the Northwestern Conference playing in the game. Watauga’s Jair Alvarez is the only NWC representative who will play for the West in the men’s soccer game on July 16.
Freedom’s Fletcher Abee is the lone NWC rep on the men’s basketball team. The East-West women’s basketball game begins at 6:30 p.m. July 15 at the Greensboro Coliseum, while the men’s game starts at 8 p.m., also at the Coliseum.
Hickory’s Lauren Hayes and Jess LaFrancis are playing in the women’s soccer game. The women’s game begins at 6:30 p.m., while the men’s game starts at 8 p.m. Both games are at MacPherson Stadium in the Bryan Park Soccer Complex in Greensboro.
“I know some of them from other sports, but I don’t know any from football,” Greene said. “I know one of them from basketball.”
Greene has been staying in shape by working out at App State. He’s mostly been working in position groups, running, lifting weights and trying to stay in condition over the offseason.
He also is attending summer session classes and has moved into a dorm on campus.
“It’s not too far from home, so it’s nice to know I can go home to my family whenever I want,” Greene said.
Greene said his sessions with the App State football team are much more intense than conditioning at WHS.
“It’s kind of different because I’ve been working out here at App,” Greene said. “It’s nothing like high school football. You’re here to play a sport, so you’re here to give all of your effort.”
Despite the intensity, Greene likes the workouts with the Mountaineers. “It’s a good change to come up here and meet new guys, meet good coaches and just get a different feel for the sport I love,” Greene said.