Before each game, each Corona del Mar High football player will speak out and make a promise to the team. The players usually say something about their role.
Alex Moore, who has been dealt cruel adversity in his senior season, said his promise and a little more Friday before the Sea Kings played against Garden Grove for the CIF Southern Section Southern Division championship.
"I told them, 'know that you guys are blessed. I wish I could be out there with you guys,'" said Moore, a linebacker who suffered a torn right ACL and meniscus in a 43-14 win over Capistrano Valley Sept. 27. "I told them that it's important to start off the game strong. I talked about my pick-six last year [12 seconds into the game in a 35-10 win over Garden Grove]. I thought that was big last year."
The Sea Kings must've been inspired by Moore's words.
CdM did start off strong, similar to last year, as the Sea Kings built a 14-0 lead, taking advantage of a blocked punt and an interception. But the Argonauts came back to tie it before halftime.
However, CdM (14-0) took over in the second half and captured its third straight Southern Division title with a 42-21 victory.
Moore watched it and held true to his promise.
"I promised to support my team," he said.
As Moore continues to work his way back — he is a month away from when he can start to run — he has provided leadership and inspiration for the Sea Kings, Coach Scott Meyer said.
"He's still one of our leaders," Meyer said of Moore. "To have any kid hurt in their senior year is really tough. He's been really positive. It could be easy to get down. It seems like he is recovering really fast. He would like to continue to play next year. He's a hardworking, tough kid. We miss him out there."
This was supposed to be Moore's big year, as the 2012 Daily Pilot Dream Team selection led the Sea Kings defense with 143 tackles last year.
Before his senior season began, Moore made the goal to have his best season and go on to earn a walk-on spot on the USC football team. USC is where his father and grandfather, both named Dave, attended.
But Moore suffered his worst injury.
"It's been heartbreaking to not be able to finish my senior season," Moore said.
Moore still has passion to fulfill his goal with the Trojans.
He has found maturity amid what could be described a nightmare. He refuses to sulk.
"I think this has made me a stronger person, dealing with adversity," Moore said. "I've found that nothing is for sure. Your life can change just like that."
While Moore has been supporting his team, the Sea Kings have also been there for him. Moore said he has received big-time help from the coaches.
"They've been really good with advice and overwhelming with support," Moore said of the CdM coaches. "They've reached out to me and they continue to make sure I'm OK."
Moore will continue to support the Sea Kings as their amazing season continues. They are expected to gain a berth into the CIF State Southern California Regional Division III Bowl Game.