Greenwood has bright future

Jonathan Greenwood turned in a decent sophomore season on the track and field team at Freeport High School. The nephew of Marlon Greenwood, who played in the National Football League, started his junior year off on a very successful note with a victory in the 300-meter run of the Conference I, 3 and 6 Crossover Nassau County meet.

Normally, Greenwood would run the 600 meters but didn’t in last week’s meet at St. Anthony’s High School in Huntington Station, Suffolk County, Long Island because athletes are limited to enter into two events and he wanted to compete on a relay team.

Greenwood chose to run as an anchor man on the 4 x 200-meter relay team and helped to lead Freeport to a runner-up spot behind winner Elmont in a time of 1:38.8. Elmont’s winning relay clocking read 1:37.3.

Normally, he would play football for his school during the months of August through November, following in the footsteps of his uncle Marlon Greenwood but this past fall, he chose to be a member of the cross country team staying in shape for the indoor season.

“Running in the fall made me stronger and gave me more stamina,” said the two-sports athlete.

He hopes to go back to the gridiron for his senior year. He played junior varsity football at Freeport both as a freshman and then as a sophomore.

“I’ll be going for a college scholarship in track,” he went on, after he was clocked in 37.2 one place ahead of teammate Tremaine Devore, who was timed in 39.0 in the 300. “Track is more of my sport than football is.”

A versatile athlete on the football team, Jonathan is a center, returns punts and kickoffs, and plays wide receiver , and safety. He likes safety of all his positions, because he likes hitting people.

“(Last week) in the crossover meet was an okay race for him,” said Coach Charles Gilreath, in his 26th year of coaching, including 14 years at Freeport. “He still has to work on his drive…and he wasn’t out (in front) as fast as he should have been (at the start). The 300 meters really isn’t his race right now as he is a 600 and 800-meter runner.

“He’s ahead of schedule right now. He’s getting ready for the 600 later on in the year. We’ll go into the 600 of the County Championships (in February, also at St. Anthony’s). His strategy depends on who’s in the race, He likes to run up front as he’s an aggressive type of runner, and likes to take people ‘out’ for the first 400 meters, and take them out of the race.”

In last year’s indoor Section VIII championships, Greenwood placed third in the meet. Now he is the top returning 600 meter runner in the County for his specialty.

“Jonathan has a lot of potential,” continued Gilreath. “He’s one of the top kids at his age who I’ve ever had (coached). I (also) coached some great 800 meter runners in high school. He’s very strong and powerful even though he’s lean.”

“(Meanwhile) Marlon Greenwood went to the Texans (of the National Football League), Jonathan continued. “During the summer I worked out with him.”

A tremendous athlete, Marlon Greenwood originally came from Jamaica, West Indies and settled in Freeport, where he played high school football, and also was a member of its track and field team, ended up at Syracuse University also playing just the gridiron sport, and got drafted by the Miami Dolphins of the National Football League.

“Marlon, my uncle, is my role model, and I look up to him,” added Jonathan. “I just want to do the things that he did in football and track.”

Jonathan is the son of Mohrn Greenwood, a former soccer player.

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