Arlington's Moore finds home on BBA football team
MANCHESTER — Will Moore has a knack for making it to the state championship.
Around this time last year, the Arlington senior was winning a Division IV boys soccer title with the Eagles, the first for them since 1995.
So what could he do for an encore?
How about join the Burr and Burton football team and become a key piece in the Bulldogs' first foray into Division I?
The speedy athlete has made an impact for BBA, who will face St. Johnsbury in the Division I state championship on Saturday in Rutland.
Moore played football in middle school and he was eager to get back into the game, so before the end of his junior year at Arlington, he talked to BBA assistant coach Bill Moses, who is a member of the Arlington Memorial High School staff.
"Moving to Arlington from Hoosick Falls, a big football school, and not having football at Arlington, I decided to take up soccer," Moore said. "It wasn't for me. [Coach Moses] talked to me about [playing football] and then talked to Coach [Tom] McCoy and I thought it would be a great idea. I've been wanting to play football for so long now. It's been a great experience so far."
Moore has the opportunity to play for BBA due to a member-to-member agreement between the schools. Since Arlington doesn't offer football, Moore was allowed to suit up for the Bulldogs.
So when Moore decided to make the move, he was committed to finding his spot and giving it his all.
"He worked out all summer with us lifting weights," McCoy said at practice on Tuesday. "He was a part of it from the beginning. Arlington was very supportive. Will has done all the work and been at everything he could possibly be at this year. I think he was excited his senior year to be have the opportunity to play again."
Transitioning from soccer to football can be quite the task. The extensive playbooks and different formations can create a learning curve for anyone not ingrained in the sport.
He also had to assimilate with his teammates.
"Will is a great athlete and he's done a lot this year," said senior quarterback Joey McCoy. "With new guys, you never know, but he's stepped up and contributed a lot. I'm happy he's a part of this team."
Moore had some previous experience to fall back on, but he admits it was a bit of an adjustment when the season started back in August.
"At first, it was a rocky road, memorizing all the plays and knowing my job of where to be and what to do," Moore said. "Coach has laid it out perfectly. He has all the plays set up and how to memorize them. It's pretty easy to pick up, and once I started picking it up, I got more confident."
Moore has been a boon for the BBA offense, playing in a variety of different roles in the passing game and on the ground.
This season, the 5-foot-8, 141-pound Moore is the team's second-leading receiver with 418 yards and its fourth-leading rusher, while picking off a pass on the defensive end.
Having a change-of-pace player with Moore's speed and catching ability is a great complement with go-to options like wide receiver John Morgantini and running back Logan Morgan.
While he brings a ton to the field with his skill level, Coach McCoy is more focused on the positive nature he brings to the team each day.
"The more athletes you can put on the field, the better chances you're going to have," Tom McCoy said. "What's really great about Will is how positive he is, how coachable he is and his spirit. He's always working hard, he's happy and he loves being out here. There's a lot of things about Will that make it fun to have him on this team."
Moore and the Bulldogs look to capture a Division I state title a year after hoisting the Division II trophy. Kick-off is set for 5 p.m. at Alumni Field.
Adam Aucoin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed at @AAucoin_Banner on Twitter.
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