Jonah Moore recently graduated Marvin Ridge with an impressive list of accomplishments to his name.
Moore helped lead a dominating Mavs lacrosse team that finished the year as the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 1A/2A/3A runners-up after going 18-2 overall and undefeated in conference play. He’s a back-to-back all-state selection and was named an all-American attacker this season after tossing in 32 goals and a whopping 45 assists. He’ll continue his lacrosse career at Furman University and did it all while maintaining a 5.0 GPA.
A four-year varsity starter for the Mav program, Moore finished his career with 121 goals and 129 assists and now boasts another title as he’s the 2014 Union County Weekly Boys Lacrosse Player of the Year.
No one would have expected such a meteoric rise just a few years ago, as Moore had never played the sport until seventh grade. Originally a die-hard baseball player, an unfortunate series of events turned out to be a huge blessing in disguise for Moore.
Moore and his twin brother, Jason, decided to go out for the middle school baseball team after his family moved to Union County from south Florida in the summer of his seventh grade year. But he didn’t make the cut.
“I had played baseball my whole life,” Moore said. “I loved it but was cut when I tried out for the team. Right after that, my brother and I went out to Dick’s and got lacrosse sticks and pads because we decided to try out for the lacrosse team, which was the next week.
“We made it somehow and fell in love with it. I gave up baseball and stuck with lacrosse.”
It was a turn of events that started the reign of Maverick lacrosse, as the Mavs have gone 59-14 over the last four seasons, largely in part to a trio of Furman commits including the Moore brothers and all-American goalkeeper Reilly McDermott.
Moore said that playing alongside his twin, who anchors the Mav defense, has provided its share of challenges. But it’s ultimately been the best part about playing lacrosse at Marvin Ridge, he said.
“I’m glad I had a twin growing up,” Moore said. “It made everything a lot easier. I had a friend to count on and someone to practice with. Things would get a little tense during practice but in a game, there was no one else I would want on the other side of the field. With the attack and defense you have to be watching half of the game so I would get to watch him play and it was awesome.”
That inherent chemistry helped carry the Mavs through their season, as they made it through four rounds of the playoffs – including a thrilling 10-9 win over Lake Norman Charter where Moore notched a goal and five assists – before facing Cardinal Gibbons, where they suffered a heartbreaking 11-8 loss. The defeat was the only regret of his high school career, Moore said.
“It’s been an awesome four years here,” he said. “The only thing I would change is the final score of our last game. But other than that, it’s been a blast. We’ve gotten closer and closer each year as a team and the senior leadership has taken big steps to incorporate the underclassmen. We’ve made it a family without borders between the classes and it will change the program in the future.”
Moore’s contributions to the Maverick program, which will return key players like rising seniors Jack Rich, Shane Hanlon and Jared Blum and rising junior Camden Porta, were made known at the end of this season when he received his all-American status – something he’d fallen just short of last year.
“It was crazy,” Moore said. “I didn’t even know I was going to get all-American until after the season, but that was my goal all year. Last year, there were two North Carolina attackmen picked and I was the third. That drove me to get it this year so to go out with that was incredible. Plus I got to experience all that with my twin, which made the experience that much more enjoyable.”
The Moore’s will continue making an impact in the lacrosse world at Furman next year, as they suit up for a Paladin squad that just finished it’s first year with only one victory.
But that’s a challenge they’re ready for.
“I’m excited,” Moore explained. “I already have my goals set for the season. I want to be at least second team all-conference as a freshman… They only won one game but they’re a first-year program and we consciously chose that because we want to make an impact. My goal is to play all four years and I want to help get the program started and be able to look back and know I was a part of that.”
Moore will certainly have that sensation as a Maverick alum looking back on all that he helped the program achieve.