Ronnie Moore is one of those players who likes the spotlight. Put the game on the line and his back against the wall and the Sanford Seminole multi-tasker will do anything he can to beat you.
And he does it all with a smile on his face. You rarely see Moore with a frown on his facade, no matter what might be bothering him on the inside, if anything ever does bother him. Surely he can't be this happy all of the time, but you'd think he is, with everything masked by his perma-grin face and charismatic personality.
"He's cool, calm and collected," says Seminole head coach Rob Vite. "No one can get under his skin. Well, two people. Myself and his dad (Seminole assistant
Ronnie Moore won't gloat on you, just beat you. Then smile at you.
"Yeah, I'm always smiling," Moore says. "That way I don't show no weakness. You don't know when I'm down or you don't know when I'm too happy. It's just my personality."
Just ask Lake Mary. Heck, just ask a lot of teams he has faced over the course of his Seminole career. He's just one of those players who shines when his team needs something to happen.
And the 'Noles needed something to happen on Friday night. They were facing a 7-1 Lake Mary team, their hated rival, with the playoffs on the line. He rose to the occasion.
Moore, whom everyone calls Damon (pronounced Day-moan), his middle name, intercepted three passes in a 15-minute span in the first half, then scored the game's only two touchdowns on a 26-yard run in the second quarter and then a 24-yard run in a fourth-down-and-nine situation in the fourth quarter to punch the 'Noles playoff ticket.
Moore said last month that the old Seminole is back. Well, the old Moore is back, too, which means one year removed from missing the playoffs, Sanford Seminole is back in the Class 8A state bracket. Seminole will open the 2012 playoffs with a trip to another rival, DeLand, on Nov. 16.
"I feel pretty good now. At first it was like we weren't going to make it," Moore said of the way the season was progressing. "Now it's all crazy."
Last season Moore suffered a painful, aggravating tear of his gluteus maximus muscle, which took on a long healing process and he only saw the field in four games. But he's been back to his old ways in his senior season.
The injury left him having to reassert himself this season and he entered with a bit of a chip on his shoulder.
"Oh yeah, and I think that's why I'm doing so good now," he said. "Just needed to start showing everybody what I got."
Moore has shown plenty. He leads the 'Noles in rushing and receiving. He's racked up 618 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground, and added another 484 yards and four touchdowns on 28 catches through the air. He's also scored on punt returns and interception returns and leads Central Florida defenders with six picks.
"He's a team player. He'll do anything for this football team," Vite said. "He'll play safety, cornerback, running back, quarterback, receiver ... anything. And he does."
He also has a knack for the spectacular and is a regular on the Sentinel Varsity's Top 10 Plays of the Week every Saturday morning.
Moore is listed at 5-foot-10, 160 pounds, but he plays much bigger.
"Yeah in pads," Moore laughs. "I look like a beast in pads."
And plays like one.
He is currently listed as the No. 18 prospect in the Sentinel's 2013 Central Florida Super60, but will likely move up from there. Moore currently has one FBS scholarship offer from Cincinnati, while also offering have been FCS schools Georgia Southern, Florida A&M and Tennessee-Chattanooga, where his older brother Ron Moore Jr. is currently a sophomore wide receiver.
"It's been going pretty good. I've been hearing good news from bigger schools," said Moore, who is expecting quite a few more offers as National Signing Day draws nearer. Feb. 6 is just 60 days away. "I'm supposed to go on my official visit to Cincinnati in December."