Jacob Moore recently became Stokes County’s first lacrosse player to sign a letter of intent to play beyond high school. The West Stokes athlete will join the ranks of the NCAA Division II Belmont Abbey Crusaders who finished 12-4 this season, a campaign that propelled it to become 16th in the nation according to the U.S. Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association.
“I think it’s the best fit for me,” he said. “It’s a strong program and the coaches and players are really experienced. I’m hoping to get some playing time and make an impact.”
Moore has grown with Wests’ lacrosse program since it began four years ago. He’s been team captain each season, a position voted on by his fellow teammates.
“We’ve definitely gotten better over time. I think people began figuring out the sport and wanted to know how to play and win.”
The athlete conceded the beginning years were humbling, especially being beaten by larger, more established programs.
“It wasn’t fun at times but we just knew we had to learn from those games no matter what the score was,” he said.
Wests’ lacrosse coach, Colon Moore, is Jacob’s father and said he’s enjoyed watching his son excel.
“He’s driven. His sophomore year playing football he decided he wanted to get better. He worked hard in the weight room, bought into the program coach Upchurch had and got a little taste of what it meant to be successful at athletics,” Moore said.
Lacrosse wasn’t a sport the family grew up playing.
“It was something different Jacob wanted to try. He played in a league and when those guys found out I was from Stokes County they were interested in expanding it. The lacrosse community really tries to grow the sport,” Moore said.
It was soon apparent the young athlete had solid stick skills.
“He played and just started taking off with it,” the coach said. “It was like he found his niche. I think he’s developed as a lacrosse player and increased his lacrosse IQ. He’s matured and he’s more focused.”
His mother, Sharon added, “We’re very happy for him. He’s constantly working at becoming better. This is a great opportunity for him.”
For the first time since Wests’ program began, the school was represented in the Triad Senior All-Star lacrosse game held at Guilford College on Monday night. Jaden Knowles and Moore were selected to play on behalf of the Wildcats.
“I was happy for them and for what we’re trying to do here,” Moore said. “I think Jacob wants to help build a lacrosse program in Stokes County. He wants to get that experience winning and learning and bring it back here. That’s encouraging to me.”
Amanda Dodson can be reached at 336-813-2426 or on Twitter at AmandaTDodson.