Two young men from Wossman High School are set to end one chapter of their life. While it’s a time of joy, it’s also one of remembering one important piece of their family, who is not with them physically, but in spirit.
On the football field, Wossman’s Antrell Green is relentless. Same goes for his brother and teammate, two-sport star Jaron Green.
“[Antrell] always told me, ‘Just play your game. Just play. Just do you.’ And, he had my back 24/8, ” says Jaron Green.
“Just the motivation, pushing me to go harder, ” says Antrell Green. “Just maintain and stay focused.”
Antrell and Jaron are getting ready for their upcoming graduation from high school. As excitement grows throughout the entire family, there’s one important piece missing.
On the evening of Mother’s Day 2017, Antrell, Jaron, and their older brother T.J. suffered a kind of pain no one should endure. Their mother Florica Green, along with a family friend, Deborah Collins were shot and killed inside their own home.
“I was at home asleep, ” says Antrell. “My auntie, she was rushing into the house, and she was beating. And, they came and woke me up, and told me what happened. I knew that it wasn’t a joke, at the moment. I just broke down and started crying.”
“So, I guess the night came, and I asked my mom if she could drop me off, ” says Jaron. “And, I know about 30 minutes after she left, my big brother Tony told me she got shot.”
“I got a text that said Flo got shot, and I’m like, ‘What Flo?’ And, they’re like your mother, ” says T.J. “And, I got another call that said, my mom got shot in the head.”
The hours continued to pass, the thought of losing the first woman the Green brothers loved set in.
“I’m thinking it’s a dream, “says Jaron. “But, when I walked next door to my house, you just see [a lot] of people crying.”
“In bed all day, literally just tears flowing, not knowing what to do, ” says Antrell. “Not knowing how me and my siblings get past the situation.”
The wounds of that night cut even deeper for T.J.
“I went to [Ouachita Correctional Center], and Paul Bryant, the other person that was in my mom’s shooting, he and I were in the same dorm, ” says T.J. “He just kept looking at me. We didn’t say anything to each other. I looked at him, he looked at me that was about it.”
Even with sharing a jail cell with the getaway driver from the tragedy, seeking revenge wasn’t an option.
“I got to think about my brothers and sister, ” says T.J. “Like I said we’re all we’ve got. I got to be the one in charge. I got to make sure everything is right. I try, but I still feel myself falling short.”
With their father out of the picture, Antrell and Jaron were forced to grow up fast, thanks to the support of the Wildcat family.
“Everybody made sure, like me personally, I kept my head on straight, and not lose my mind or go crazy or do stupid things, ” says Antrell.
In March 2019, Jaron suited up for the Class 3A basketball title game, with a heavy heart
“The championship game was on [my mom’s] birthday, which was March the 9th, ” says Jaron. “We were all just locked in, ready. But, somehow we just fell short.”
Later that year, Antrell completed his final season of being Wossman’s starting quarterback. Jaron was the team’s receiver. During one game, the spirit of Florica Green was felt in both brothers.
“We were playing Richwood, ” Jaron remembers. “My brother said, ‘I’m coming to you, catch it.’ I’m like ‘Okay, I’m going to catch it.’ Somehow, I just grabbed it and cuffed it. And, then I scored. Then, I just looked up to the sky, and said ‘This is for you.'”
Despite the tragedy, they all stuck together. Antrell and Jaron are set to graduate from Wossman High School. They’re fulfilling the dream of one special woman looking down from heaven.”
“I’m going to cry, ” says Jaron. “But, I’m just going to tell her I did it. Just tell her we did it.”
The memories of what took place on Mother’s Day 2017 will never go away. The hearts of the Green family will never grow cold towards the world.
“It put anger in my heart, ” says Antrell. “But, it didn’t put that much anger in my heart. People make mistakes, I forgive ’em. But, you don’t forget. That pain is stuck with me and my family forever.”