By Chris Chaney
A nondescript summer soccer conditioning session at Milford High School two years ago transformed into a unique opportunity for then-junior center back Thomas Moore when head football coach Shane Elkin approached the soccer team with a request.
“We were doing some summer workouts for soccer, which is fairly close to where the football team does their summer workouts,” Moore explained. “Coach Elkin came over and asked our coach if there was anybody who might be good at kicking a football. My coach recommended me and a few others and we went to try it out.”
Moore said he always had an interest in playing football, but with the season coinciding with soccer season, he didn’t have the opportunity.
Now, with the football team in need of a kicker and Moore willing to split time, he was able to have the best of both worlds.
“From my perspective, if we didn’t already have a standout kid kicking, there would be no reason that we couldn’t work around a soccer players’ schedule,” Elkin said.
The scheduling aspect didn’t turn out to be much of a problem for Moore or the football team. Games took precedent, so while the soccer team played during the week, Moore would miss football practice for a match and on Friday nights, Moore would go on the football team’s schedule, resting up after school and getting to team meals in preparation for the weekly games.
“My approach to the whole thing was that (Moore) was a specialist,” Elkin said. “His No. 1 priority was his soccer career, but he was allowed to be as involved with our schedule as much as he wanted to be. We worked around what worked best for him and moved things around so we could work on special teams when he was available.”
Perhaps the most impressive part of Moore’s multitasking was the proficiency with which he performed both on the gridiron and the pitch.
During his junior season, Moore was a First Team All-Conference soccer player and a Second Team All-Conference place kicker.
Moore only improved in his second season as the Milford multitasker. During his senior season, Moore was fifth in the Eastern Cincinnati Conference in scoring and second on his team.
And his moonlighting gig on the football field turned out to be award-worthy as well. Moore led the league in punting average among kickers who played more than five games and his eight punts downed inside the 20 was third in the league.
His powerful leg led the league in kickoff average and touchbacks as well.
For all his success his senior year, Moore was not only First Team All-Conference in both sports, but he was an All-District performer in football and an All-State selection in soccer.
Moore will play his college soccer at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. where plans to study engineering.
Moore said he’s not sure what he wants to specialize in as far as military service, but given his pedigree, he could probably handle a couple of different things.