This spring, some high school hitters are worrying about getting their batting averages up and some pitchers are calculating on how to get their ERAs down. Others will give their attention to graduation.
Will Moore doesn’t worry about any of that. Moore is just thankful each day he gets to put a uniform on and play baseball. In fact, he’s thankful he’s alive.
When he was five years old, the lanky 6-2 Overton High senior outfielder suffered a terrible tragedy, something which almost ended his life.
While he and his family were vacationing in Panama City, Fla., in August 1995, a group of eight family members and friends were walking alongside the road. An auto driven by drunk driver careened off the road into the crowd and hit Will.
“I don’t remember anything about it,’’ Moore said last week, just before taking batting practice with the Bobcats’ team. “I was in a coma for six months on life support, and I really don’t remember anything. The doctors thought I might not make it.
“After it happened, they performed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and got me to the hospital. One time, the artificial respiration machine broke down, and my mother told them they better get that machine working or get a new one. They got a new machine.’’
Moore went to hospitals in Atlanta, then to Vanderbilt, each one providing him doctors’ prognoses and a regimen of exercises to strengthen his body. He still has just limited use of his left arm and hand, which is slightly mangled, but he’s gradually getting stronger.
And he appears to have overcome the worst part.
He started first grade a year late and, working through a lot of rehab, he has reached the point where he can play in the field and take at-bats.
He is used primarily as a courtesy runner, but he’s played in the outfield and, last week, he caught a fly ball in right-field last week against Antioch.
“I love baseball, and I always knew I wanted get back into it,’’ said Moore, who will become a four-year letterman this season.
Asked what it would be like when he gets his first hit, Moore said, “that’s going to be awesome. I know my teammates will be happy. They have been so supportive of me throughout all this.’’
“I coached Will when he was five in the Crieve Hall League,’’ said Overton coach Mike Morrison, who went to school at Overton with Will’s parents Lee Ann and Carey (who was a football player/wrestler).
“Since I know his parents, I was familiar with Will early on and I knew how much he loved sports and baseball. He’s been on our team ever since his freshman year.
“He’s a wonderful kid,’’ Morrison said. “A lot of people would ask themselves why this would happen to me, but Will has a bright smile each day and just enjoys life. He works hard, he’s gotten stronger, and he has a good understanding of the game. He’s an excellent student. All the guys on the team really like him.’’
Asked why he wore the No. 14, Moore said, “I used to wear No. 4. Stephen Langston (a former Overton player who was killed in a traffic accident in August of ’05), wore No. 1, so I combined the No. 1 and 4 in honor of him.’’
His story appears to have a happy future. Moore and his family have spoken with MTSU associate baseball coach Jim McGuire, and talks are under way toward getting him a scholarship to be a manager with the Raiders.
“That would be great, if it all works out,’’ Moore said. “I just want to be around baseball in some capacity.’’
That and just seeing the joy on happy faces around himself, pulling for him to succeed.
LIGHTHOUSE LEAGUE: Lighthouse Christian football coach Scott Davis has announced that he is starting a 7-on-7 passing league for high school-age athletes in the Nashville and Middle Tennessee area. The winner of the league will represent the Midstate in the national championships in Detroit in the summer. For information or register, call Davis at 331-6286, ext. 24.
COUGARS GROWLING: Defending AA state baseball champ Goodpasture continues to roll in District 8-AA. Last week, the Cougars blanked Portland in a twin bill. Lefty Adam Adkins pitched a perfect game in an 10-0 opening win, and Turner Cripps fired a one-hitter in a 17-0 game two win.
Bennett Smith caught both games and hit two home runs, while Adkins, Tyler Lovell and Chase Snyder also homered. Goodpasture opens a key, two-game district series today at DCA, followed by the second game Tuesday at home.
EX-GLENCLIFF STAR SHINES: Felicia Grinter, who has called several NCAA women’s games over the past month including the NCAA Regional final between UConn and Rutgers last week, is a former Glencliff High multi-sport athlete, her former coach Glenn Falls points out.
Grinter, a 1987 Glencliff grad, served the winning point in the finals for Falls’ 40-2 Colts state volleyball championship team in 1986. She also ran track and played softball, as well as basketball for Falls’ team.
“She has the perfect temperament and demeanor to be a referee,’’ Falls said. “She’s not short-tempered, and she has an even keel about her.’’
DOUG HALL RELAYS: The annual Doug Hall Relays, an all-relays format, will be held Saturday at the Montgomery Bell Academy track. Most of Nashville’s top boys and girls teams will compete. Entry deadline is today, call director Bill Compton, 298-5514.
Also, the Great Eight meet will be held the following Tuesday, April 15, at the Vanderbilt track. It features the boys and girls with the eight best times in the Midstate area this spring in each event.
HALL OF FAME BANQUET: The annual Metro Public Schools Hall of Fame luncheon will be held Tuesday, 11:30 a.m., April 15 at L.P. Field. Inductees include Tommy Bolton, Austin Denny, Dianne Fowler, Roy Herald, John Mitchell, Tommy Squires, David Vaughn Jr., Porter Williams, and inducted posthumously will be Jimmy Edwards, Ronald Lawson Sr., Harold Rice and Margaret Sexton Gleaves.
ALL-STATE: Nashville area players named to the Tennessee Sports Writers all-state basketball team include: Boys: Drew Kelly, Centennial and Kyle Upton, Antioch (AAA); Zaccheus Mason, CPA; John Jenkins, Station Camp (AA); Caden Anderson, NCS (A); Gary Pope, Ensworth; Jacob Stallings, Brentwood Academy (DII). Girls: Anna Bowers and Emily Perkins, from state champ Ensworth; Beth Binkley, Harpeth Hall; Tenisha Townsend, Brentwood Academy; and Kristi Nye, USN (DII).