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Green sees improvement on, off field

Tay Green worked himself into being one of the leaders on the Northeast baseball team. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

You’d think the worst thing that can happen to a baseball player is that he’d be kicked off the team.

For Tay Green, it was the best.

Green is a senior at Northeast High School, and now he’s everything you’d want in a player. A big, strapping first baseman who hits for power, a solid fielder and more than that, the type of guy everyone wants in their clubhouse. He has the respect of his coaches and his teammates, and the younger players look to him as a model player.

But two years ago? Well, let’s just say he’s come a long way.

“I wasn’t good, I was cocky, I thought I was dat boi,” said Green, meaning he thought he was the best baseball player on the field. “I got kicked off. I was pretty upset, but I knew I had to be better. I knew why I was kicked off.

“Then I got hurt. I hurt three ligaments in my ankle, I was playing basketball, messing around, which I knew I shouldn’t be doing. That impacted my life in a big way. I knew after that, if I wanted to play baseball, I had to start taking it seriously and I had to get a better attitude. I knew I wanted to play, but I knew it had to start with me.”

It did.

And ever since he changed his attitude and tinkered with his baseball tools, he’s become the exact player Northeast needed.

Last year he helped Northeast reach the third round of the Public League playoffs, and it was supposed to be a trial run for this year when the team returned the bulk of its squad.

Of course, that never came to fruition.

Coronavirus spoiled the spring season for all high school athletes, and Green and his teammates are left wondering what if. He believes it would have been one for the books.

“I think we were going to be one of the best teams because we had so much talent,” Green said. “We had everything. Good pitching. We had everything, man. That’s why it hurts so bad that we weren’t able to play it out. That’s all we wanted, but it never happened.”

Green is disappointed he wasn’t able to play it out, but he certainly didn’t waste the last few months. He took every opportunity to get better.

And he didn’t do it alone.

“I have been working out every day, every day,” said Green, whose first name is Devantay, but prefers to be known by Tay. “I’ve been working out with Noah Ruiz, got to give a shoutout to him.He played at (Bucks County Community College), he’s playing in Florida now,  And other guys. A lot of times, we’ll work out with Andrew Kidder. We’re just trying to stay in shape.

“It’s been crazy, you can’t really do anything, but baseball is outside. We’ve been being careful. We’re just trying to stay ready, stay in shape and play. We all love playing baseball, and it’s the one thing we can do.”

Green needs to stay ready because next year, he’s going to follow in Ruiz’s footsteps and play at Bucks County Community College.

It’s going to be a big step. Playing college baseball isn’t easy, but Green knows he’s ready for it. His new coach also has confidence in him.

“The coach saw me and he said I’m raw, but I have a chance to be good if I learn a few things,” said Green, who has been playing baseball his entire life but admits he didn’t take it seriously until the summer after his sophomore year at Northeast. “So I’m trying to do whatever I can to get better. I really want to play. Playing college baseball, it’s very important to me. And I have so many people helping me. I really want to do it.”

He also has high hopes for the future away from the field.

Green had planned on majoring in sports management because he loves athletics, but after recent events in the country, he’s leaning toward making a change. He wants to do something where he can change the world for the better.

“I thought about sports management, but now I’m thinking I might be better off going into criminal justice, and then maybe doing something else (like politics),” said Green, who lives in Somerton. “I really want to do something where I can help people. I know what it’s like to be in a community that needs help. I want to help those communities.

“I want to help people, because I had to change, and I know when you change, things can be better. I want people to think before they act. People, you know, when you act emotionally, you can do things you don’t want to do. I think I could help with that. They need someone who can help with that. They need a lot of people who can help with that.”

Green doesn’t have to look far to get his inspiration, either.

He credits his high school coach, Tom Juhas, for helping him when he wasn’t acting the way he needed to. But he also has a great family.

“My mom is really big at helping me, my whole family,” Green said. “My brother, he helps me. My pop. And my sister (Patricia Simmons), she’s younger than me, shes a junior at Washington, but she’s so smart. She’s good at school. She inspires me to do better in school.

“I have a lot of support. A lot of people help me. I want to do well. Show them that I’m able to do well thanks to their support.”

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