DC wins, holds ceremony to honor Moore’s career

Published 11:45 pm Friday, February 3, 2017

PLANTERSVILLE — They say a coach touches hundreds of lives, especially one that stays on the sidelines for decades. On Friday night, longtime Dallas County head coach Willie Moore got to see firsthand how many lives he’s touched through 22 years of coaching.

Dallas County High School honored Moore on Friday night and many in the community came out to say thank you, take pictures and reminisce about old stories with a man they looked up to. Moore announced earlier this week that this will be his last year coaching athletics.

He’ll focus on the administrative side of his career from here on out and let others do the coaching.

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During halftime of the Hornets’ 79-41 win over West Blocton — the school that gave Moore his first coaching position — principal Todd Reece led a ceremony honoring the basketball coach. Reece asked for anyone who had played for Moore to join them on the floor and much of center court ended up being covered by former athletes from several generations.

“That’s pretty special to me. That means as much as winning that state championship,” Moore said, while looking up at the school’s 2014 state championship banner. “We only have 15 players and so many coaches and so many managers that won the championship but to see tonight that I touched so many lives and they feel they need to come see me. It means the world to me.”

The special night was set up by the perfect regular season finale, pitting Moore up against West Blocton, where he coached from 1995-1997. He also coached at Bibb County High, which is just down the road from West Blocton in Centreville, so many from both schools made the short trip to Plantersville to honor him.

“There were several players that I coached at West Blocton that have sons that are playing for West Blocton, so that just made it that much sweeter for me,” Moore said.

Like many of Moore’s games in Plantersville, Friday’s contest was one-sided.

West Blocton went on an 11-0 run in the first quarter and took an 11-8 lead, but Dallas County regained the lead quickly and didn’t look back. Moore’s moment was the highlight of the night, but it was also senior night and the Hornets came to play.

The team used a full court press to put the pressure on the Tigers’ ball handlers and it worked to produce easy points.

“We had a lot of nervous energy and I was worried my players were going to come out a little flat due to the emotional factor. To really get them going, we decided to pick up the tempo,” Moore said.

Seniors Floyd Crusoe, Mario Simmons, Kedrick Wilson, Quincy Parker, Kachavious Dudley, Demerius Jones and Josh Benford all scored in Friday’s win. The seven seniors combined to score 62 of Dallas County’s 79 points and Wilson led the way with 21.

After the game, Moore ran down a child who had taken off with the game ball. Many looking on probably assumed that he wanted it so that he could have it as a keepsake, but that wan’t the case at all.

“That’s the game ball and that’s one we always play with,” Moore said with a laugh. “I can say I’m a little bit superstitious. I want to play with the same game ball because we are what 10, 11-0 at home with that one game ball. We are going to play with that on Tuesday without a doubt.”

The Hornets will host the class 5A, area 6 tournament on Tuesday in Plantersville.

They’ll host Marbury in the first round, the first of seven potential games left for Moore’s basketball career.

“If my career ended tonight, I’d be happy. I’d like to win another championship but I won’t cry if we don’t because I had a fulfilling career here,” Moore said.
Dallas County 41, West Blocton 9 (Girls)

Dallas County jumped out to a 13-0 lead and outscored West Blocton by 23 in the third quarter in a 41-9 victory.

The Hornets were led by Jamerah Smith, who scored 14 points. J’Kierra Peterson made two 3-pointers and joined Smith in double figures with 10 points.

Seniors Alexus Woodson, Tyneshia Jones, Jamerah Smith and Alexis Goodwin were all honored after the game. Dallas County will play Marbury at Calera in the first round of the class 5A, area 6 tournament on Monday.