Winters High School is known for its exceptional athletes with some — like Matt Moore — ascending to play at the collegiate level. Although WHS isn’t the biggest or most prestigious of high schools, this Warrior is proof that hard work and persistence pays off.
Born and raised in Winters, Moore grew up playing sports along with a fierce sibling rivalry with his older sister. He carried his competitive spirit with him into high school and became a three-sport athlete. Now in his senior year, Moore’s athletic prowess has turned into a scholarship and commitment to play football at George Fox University in Oregon.
“The recruiting process was more stressful than I thought and didn’t think my decision would come down to the wire. But after another visit, I felt more at home at George Fox,” Moore said, then talked about what he’s looking forward to most. “Probably how much I’m going to learn. My quarterback coach played in the NFL for nine years and I’m excited to see where this game takes me. Also, going out of state and traveling for games I’ll learn so much more than just football.”
Moore’s athleticism isn’t the reason behind his success, however. To Daniel Ward, WHS athletic director and varsity football head coach, its Moore’s leadership ability that sets him apart.
“Every one of his teammates looked up to him and respected him. He’s super positive and a great leader, it was like having another coach on the field,” Ward praised. “He’s one of the hardest workers and watches a ton of film. Besides the work ethic you have to have the knowledge as well, and he’d tell linemen, receivers and running backs where to go. He also broke darn-near every school record we have in the passing category and led the entire section.”
The task of even getting noticed by coaches showcases Moore’s resilience. From the 30 direct messages he’d send coaches every morning to the daily emails, Moore’s blip on the radar became undeniable and coaches responded.
“It’s setting the standard that even though you’re at a small school you can get noticed and play at the next level,” Moore said giving his two cents on the notion that one can’t get noticed playing sports at a small school. “Anything’s possible. I was just a freshman that’d never played football before. Then I was a backup quarterback and I just kept competing.”
Although Moore is on his way to become a Bruin, there’s plenty he’ll miss about being a Winters Warrior.
“I’m going to miss my coaches,” said Moore. “I’ll be close with my teammates up there, but my teammates are my best friends here and I’ll definitely miss walking out with them to the drum line before the games.”
With another Winters Warrior heading off to play collegiate sports, it serves as a testament to the surging success of WHS athletics. As for Moore, there’s no telling how far his work ethic and talent will take him.