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Green Named to Allstate AFCA Good Works Team
North Dakota Ag Connection - 10/15/2021

Minot State defensive back Philip Green has proven he's a leader beyond the playing field, and now is being honored for that fact.

Green, a redshirt-sophomore who has played in 10 games in his short career on the gridiron for the Beavers football team, has been even busier doing community service since arriving in Minot, efforts that earned him distinction as one of just 22 football players nation-wide named to the 2021 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team.

"It is a tremendous honor to be recognized and named to the Allstate ACFA Good Works Team," Green said. "I know that there are many deserving athletes across the country who are doing outstanding things outside in the community and off the field."

The 22 honorees come from all levels of college football with 11 players selected from the Football Bowl Subdivision and 11 from all other levels and include student-athletes who are scholars, leaders, and community champions. These nominees have volunteered to build homes, mentor underprivileged kids, aid in COVID-19 relief efforts, as well as advocate against domestic violence and racial injustice.

"Philip has been one of the cornerstone members of our team since he arrived on campus," Minot State football coach Mike Aldrich said. "He is a servant leader that is always ready to lend a hand, get involved in community service and mentor his teammates. He is involved in SAAC, he is a member of our team's Leadership Council, and he is very active on campus with the university's communications program. We got to know his character during the recruiting process and knew we needed him in our program, and he has exceeded all our expectations. I absolutely love him and what he means to our program!"

Green's major impact has been in creating the "Mental Game" podcast with teammate Troy Kowal. The podcast brings awareness to mental health among student-athletes. A frequently overlooked issue, Green and Kowal admit that mental health in sports culture it is put even further on the backburner. The goal of the podcast is to create conversations among student-athletes as a platform and resource to change the narrative about mental health in sports.

The podcast is supported locally by Prairie Sky Breads, which reserves space for Green and Kowal to record the show each Thursday at the bakery. The show is released to a YouTube channel and on Twitter the following Sunday. Green and Kowal discuss topics and issues in college athletics like mental checks/days, lack of sleep, burnout, balancing the load, counselors for teams similar to athletic trainers for teams, the importance of women coaches in sports, and advocating/supporting mental health. The podcast offers tips, support, and ideas to help student-athletes going through mental health struggles.

"When I first started the Mental Health podcast and journey towards making a difference in bringing awareness to mental health in sports, I never thought it would be seen on a national level," said Green, who is from Parker, Colo., and graduated from Chaparral High School. "I was hoping to make a small impact on the Minot State athletics community.

"I have always had a passion for mental health awareness, especially in sports," he added. "I had a teammate of mine in high school take his own life and it opened my eyes to the real struggles athletes face, even when we don't show it. I was fortunate to be given the resources and opportunity to start the podcast and I knew it was something I had to take advantage of.

"Athletes are often only seen for their on-the-field performance and very little of the population sees all the other things that athletes endure. I wanted to bring to light those struggles and offer an opportunity to make positive changes. Through the podcast I wanted to change the narrative on how we treat mental health in sports, we wanted it to have as big of an emphasis as physical health."

Along with creating the Mental Health podcast with Kowal, Green has volunteered his time by recording a video for the "It's a Slam Dunk Don't Drive Drunk" campaign and passed out drunk driving awareness shirts and bracelets at Minot State basketball games along with encouraging students on campus to take the pledge against drunk driving. He also recorded workout videos for "Work Out for Wishes" to help raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, served as a date for the Miss Amazing Pageant for girls with disabilities, helped the Honors program bring a United Way chapter to Minot State's campus, and assisted with Dreamcatchers' baseball organization. Finally, Green assisted on a mental health panel with Minot State's campus captains for The Hidden Opponent Chapter, is the head of community service for Minot State's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, and is sports editor for the Red and Green Campus Newspaper at Minot State.

While remaining busy with his community service efforts and playing football for the Beavers, Green also is a star academically as he works towards his degree in Professional Communications as he was named to the NSIC All-Academic Team in the Fall of 2020 and was named to the President's Honor Roll in the Fall of 2018, 2019, 2020, and the Spring 2020 and 2021 semesters.


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