Powell’s star wideout, Ayden Greene, finds inspiration away from the field
POWELL, Tenn. (WVLT) - The Powell Panthers take the field Friday night for its first game of the 2022 season. A year ago this program saw the state championship trophy come to Powell for the first time in program history.
The third time was the charm for Powell as the Panthers held on to win the 5A state title with a 42-34 victory over Page in the Blue Cross Bowl.
This year’s team features several key players from that championship team, including senior wide receiver Ayden Greene. He’s a player who’s overcome tremendous adversity away from the field.
In 2017, his brother Keenan passed away. In the midst of sorrow, Ayden turned that pain into inspiration and the reason he plays today.
WVLT’s Paige Dauer asked Ayden how his brother still motivates and influences him to this day. “He’s always with me,” said Ayden. “Like when stuff gets hard, it’s probably about to be 105 degrees outside on that turf. I just always keep him with me like if he was here, he would do it. You know if he was here he would tell me, ‘Come on, get off your butt, let’s go, let’s do it. So I just always keep that with me, keep me going.”
Keenan was Ayden’s biggest fan. Despite their 13-year age gap, the two were nearly inseparable.
Ayden said Keenan always believed in him, pushing him to achieve his biggest dreams.
“That was my right-hand man. He was, out of all my brothers, he was the one I was always around,” said Ayden.
Five years after Kennan’s passing, his unwavering support still echoes in Hayden’s mind. And when he fulfilled his dreams of playing Division One football, he thought about his brother.
“He was everything. He was there for me. Anything he supported me in everything. Me and him had a really, really close bond that I don’t think I could get with anybody else,” said Ayden.
After the 2022 season, Ayden is headed up I-75 to play for the Cincinnati Bearcats.
“After this season ends, I head off and that’s when it really starts and that’s when the show begins,” said Ayden.
Powell’s wide receivers coach, Zack Gibson said for current and future Powell players to see what Adyen’s been able to do, it’s invaluable for the program.
G: “It’s a huge reward feeling for me, especially seeing the amount of hard work and time that he puts into perfecting his craft. How much time he puts in, in the weight room, on the field.. he’s definitely earned that.”
Ayden also had influences from his parents and three other older brothers. Who all encouraged him, in their own ways, to go full speed towards his dreams.
“My dad was always on my back about you know training, eating right, doing the right things, working, whatever,” said Ayden.
He continued, “And then just having four older brothers to beat on me and always keep me grounded and made me rough, made me want to go harder. And I mean, all that stuff mattered. It started at a very young age for me, and then I just fell in love with it and ran with it.”
Gibson, quickly took notice of how special Ayden’s mentality and outlook on life is when he became a varsity player, “He’s definitely in a league of his own, to have the maturity that he’s shown this year and even the last couple of years to have the ability to overcome the stuff he’s been through and to grow from that and learn from that and help pull his other teammates along with him. He’s done a great job.”
Gibson continued, “And I think he does a good job of representing his family and our football program very, very well.”
Ayden embarks on his final season in the red and black starting Friday night at 7:30 p.m. on the road against Anderson County.
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