There’s a new champion on the Bridgeport High School football team. And he has the championship belt to prove it.
Confused? Wondering how there could be a champion with the season a few weeks in the past.
Relax. I’ve got the answers here.
Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to the 2018, Bridgeport High School Scout Team Player of the Year and owner of the big red championship strap – sophomore Hayden Moore. Moore is now the second player in Bridgeport High School history to possess the belt and to earn the honor.
Of course, the “Scout Team Player of the Year” is only two years old. That doesn’t mean it’s not important. In fact, Coach John Cole was thrilled to announce Moore as the winner after talking about the honor with his staff.
“This is an award for the player who does the things to make you successful that people may not notice or have the chance to notice,” said Cole. “Hayden Moore was that guy.”
Moore was a backup quarterback and defensive back this season for the Indians in the event you heard his named called over the public address system at Bridgeport High School. However, it was what he did leading up to those games that earned him the honor.
“The first thing that made him valuable is I don’t think he missed any practices and, if he did, it was one or two tops,” said Cole. “You could count on him being there on the scout team on both sides of the ball.”
On defense, he was primarily utilized in the secondary. If it was press coverage, a zone scheme, something on the man front – depending on what they expected from the opposition – then Moore was in the mix.
It was on offense, however, where he really set himself apart. First, and foremost, he had to be the quarterback on the scout team and that isn’t always the easiest thing to do, said Cole.
“Here’s a kid that has to know the play sheet when he’s in there and he has to mesh things up in there. Take for instance Keyser with their jet sweep, Hayden has to understand that to allow our defense to prepare for it and we could count on him not matter what,” said Cole. “The big thing was that occasionally, depending on our opponent’s skill set he would run at receiver because he ran good routes and can catch the ball. Coach (Sean) Snyder didn’t hesitate using him if we needed a receiver.
“He turned himself into someone of big value to us and that’s a reason we had a good year,” Cole continued. “I can assure you he had a full plate at practice.”
Moore also had to ready on game days. And not just for mop up duty.
“Hayden was our holder on extra points. That has to be a person you can trust because you don’t know if the snap is coming back perfect, high or low or perhaps right or left,” said Cole. “He did a good job of holding for (BHS kicker) Evan (Ogden).”
For all of that, Hayden Moore has a belt that would make the WWE heavyweight champion envious. Now, Cole is hoping it does to Moore what it did for the inaugural winner of the award did.
Carson Winkie went from the Scout Team Player of the Year and possessor of the strap to starting linebacker and the team’s leading tackler. Cole hopes to see similar results with Moore.
“You never know if it’s going to be the same thing, but at the very least you have it motivates Hayden to work harder to get even better,” said Cole. “We have (junior) Devin (Vandergrift) back next year so Hayden can find a place as a receiver, in the secondary or maybe somewhere else. You just don’t know. What I do know is that he’s got the work ethic to make next year special for him.”
The award is proving special. It’s one that was thought up by defensive coordinator Adam King. Once Travis Jones, “the voice of the Indians” found out about it, he took it a step further.
“Adam came up with a great idea and Travis took it a step forward with the idea for the belt that he got with the help of the Friends of Bridgeport Football,” said Cole. “If you know Travis, he’s a wrestling guy so that’s where it came from. We hope this continues and we hope Hayden continues a two-year run of a winner coming back and making a huge impact in his junior season.”
That very well could happen. After all, he has to live up to the standard of being a champion.