Terrance Moore understands that his responsibility to the Miller Grove football team doesn’t end when he walks off the field.
Moore, a senior defensive back for the Wolverines, also is relied on as a tutor and mentor to some of his teammates. With a 4.0 grade point average and high test scores (27 ACT, 1770 SAT), Moore has schools such as Penn, Lehigh and Carnegie-Mellon considering scholarship offers.
While maintaining solid grades, Moore is fighting for a starting spot at cornerback. He will start on special teams for the Wolverines.
“I feel like it’s part of my responsibility to help kids get to where I am in the classroom or past me,” said Moore, who is taking AP classes in economics and calculus. “It’s part of my role as a senior and a teammate.”
Moore is among the growing number of high school athletes in the county who are able to balance academics and athletics. Many football coaches push their players to excel in the classroom and provide academic help if needed.
“Terrance is an inspiration and what he is doing has rubbed off on a lot of the seniors and juniors,” Miller Grove coach Jasper Jewell said. “He’s almost like a tutor to some of his teammates who may not be as strong academically. They look up to him.”
Cedar Grove coach Ray Bonner points to support outside of school as another factor that helps foster a student to excel in the classroom as well as on the football field. Senior lineman Jamel Dobbs has a 4.1 GPA and has scored 1600 on the SAT.
“He has support and guidance from his parents and grandparents,” Bonner said. “That’s what makes up a well-rounded kid – what they get from home.”
Moore also has benefitted from his parents’ advice over the years and has recognized the importance of having a plan beyond athletics.
“I’ve always done well in school,” Moore said. “I have a lot of self motivation, and it’s important to find the best way to spend your time and do whatever you have to do (academically).”
Many coaches monitor their players’ grades on a weekly basis and provide tutoring for players who fall behind in their schoolwork. Coaches also know that strong academics will help a student earn an athletic scholarship just as much as their ability on the football field.
Lineman Michael Thornton and running back Raymond Sanders are good examples. Both have high GPAs and both are enrolled in gifted or advanced classes at Stephenson. Thornton is expected to choose between Georgia, Auburn and South Carolina while Sanders has committed to play football at Kentucky.
“It’s really a blessing when kids understand how important academics are,” Stephenson coach Ron Gartrell said. “They put the time and effort into being great students because eventually football runs out.”
That sentiment is understood by Moore, as well.
“I’ve just wanted more for myself because I know you can’t go through your whole life playing sports,” Moore said. “When schools like Penn are interested, it shows that I’m doing the right thing and motivates me to keep at it.”