Daniel Greek wasn’t watching as his younger brother, Nathan, stepped under center for the first time. That wasn’t by choice, though.
And while Daniel was on the sidelines getting checked out, Nathan tossed a 38-yard touchdown pass — one of only two completions on his six attempts in a 67-35 loss at Celina.
Steven Greek, their father, was excited about Nathan’s spectacular start but also concerned about the eldest of his three sons.
“There’s a difference between pain and injury,” he said. “As a dad … if you’re hurt, let’s see if we can play through it, but if you’re injured, we’re going to have to take the next-man-up mentality.”
When you’re a dad, that’s already a hard situation.
But it was complicated for Greek because he doubles as Argyle Liberty Christian’s head coach.
As Daniel has sat and recuperated, it’s been on Nathan’s shoulders — or perhaps, more specifically, his right shoulder — to get the Warriors back on track as they get ready to open TAPPS district play.
“For the last few weeks, Daniel has embraced the mentoring role,” Greek said. “[He] got in the car one night and said, ‘I’m really proud of Nathan.’ And that’s what we’re trying to raise in young men.”
Nathan, only a freshman, was slated to start the year on Liberty Christian’s defensive line. At 6-4 and 240 pounds, the middle of three Greek boys was the perfect fit to make an immediate defensive impact for the Warriors, in addition to playing some tight end.
But injuries continued to ravage things at Liberty Christian. It had already lost its top two running backs, in addition to a few other pieces, and the Warriors’ coach had to shuffle the decks once more.
Fortunately, athletic genes run deep in the Greek family.
Steven played Division II football at Texas A&M-Kingsville and his wife, Daisy, was a three-sport athlete at the high school level. The youngest of their three sons, Joshua, is a sixth-grader who is already playing the same positions as his brothers on the gridiron — defensive line, tight end and quarterback, of course.
So, as Daniel has taken his time to get right — there’s a chance he could return this Friday when Liberty Christian visits SportsDayHS No. 1 Fort Worth Nolan — Nathan has done more than fine under the Friday night lights, completing 63.6 percent of his passes with 13 touchdowns to only four interceptions.
That success, however, hasn’t changed the dynamic off the field between the two Greeks.
“It’s funny at the dinner table to listen to some of the banter and joking they make toward one another,” Steven Greek said. “You might call it brotherly trash-talking.”
The plan is for Daniel to retake the starting job whenever he’s healthy, but the Warriors’ coach hinted that Nathan will stay in the offensive gameplan with some specific packages and plays.
“We didn’t draw it up this way,” Greek said of having to plug one son in for another, “But that’s the hand we were dealt. … And five to 10 years from now, they will look back on this as a special season because they had to go through that adversity together.”