David Ramsey: Pine Creek's David Moore III proves diligent work, and parents' love, can conquer all

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Photo - Pine Creek running back David Moore III reacts after scoring a touchdown during the Pine Creek and Broomfield 4A football state championship game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on Saturday, December 3, 2016. Photo by Stacie Scott, The Gazette
Pine Creek running back David Moore III reacts after scoring a touchdown during the Pine Creek and Broomfield 4A football state championship game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on Saturday, December 3, 2016. Photo by Stacie Scott, The Gazette

The Question about Pine Creek running back David Moore III is asked frequently. It’s a logical question, a question that’s been asked, and answered, all over the state.

The Question is this:

Is he big enough, at 5-foot-7 and 165 pounds (maybe), to thrive and survive as he sprints into the savage hearts of opposing defenses? A year ago, when Moore was a 14-year-old freshman preparing to start for Colorado’s premier 4A program, even his coaches and teammates wondered.

They wonder no more. Moore, still only 15, is a lead contender for the state’s best running back. He gained 1,585 yards last season for the 4A champs despite missing time with an ankle injury.

He’s chasing even bigger numbers.

“I want to get over 2,000 yards this season,” he says. “And I think I can accomplish that goal.”

He’s on his way. He gained 155 yards (on 16 carries) and scored twice in Saturday’s 23-7 win over ThunderRidge. Moore and the Eagles play at Windsor on Friday.

Christion Louis, a senior, serves as the 310-pound anchor for Pine Creek’s defense. He asked The Question the initial time he saw Moore.

He quickly got the answer.

“Our first game, he wasn’t scared to run into people at any time,” Louis says. “He would always go for the contact to get extra yards.”

Two things you should know about Moore:

He doesn’t ask The Question. And he has no problem with hard work.

In the summer of 2016, Pine Creek coach Todd Miller told Moore he was ready for all the challenges of 4A, all the malicious linebackers, all the shouting enemy fans. All of it.

“After Coach Miller told me I was good enough to play varsity, I didn’t have any doubts,” says Moore, who respectfully ends many sentences with “sir.”

The source of his confidence is easy to trace. David Moore II, his father, has long preached the value of exhausting labor. He told David III he could compete with anyone, no matter how brawny or speedy, if he worked with extreme diligence.

Father and son often visit the gym. When David III grows weary, his father says, “To be the best, you got to work like the best!”

On the field, David III thinks of his father and mother, Marcelle. He remembers all the work and all the belief.

“My parents, they build my ego up, they build my confidence up, they really think I’m good,” Moore says. “They are my No. 1 fans. They love me so much,  and I just want to do the best I can and pay them back.”

For Marcelle, who stands 4-11, watching games is a complicated experience, part thrill, part ordeal.

“It’s scary, overwhelming, exciting,” she says. “I have a whole lot of emotions going on. But mostly, I’m proud. Just very proud of him for everything that he’s accomplished.”

Moore has some nerve, too. Miller can be gruff, which is typical for a football coach. Last year, Moore was in a Miller gym class that often ended with laps around the school track. These laps usually were a grim routine.

Not with Moore. Miller heard giggling and looked up to see students chasing each other. Moore had started a game of tag.

“He’s a fun kid to work with,” Miller says.

He’s a tough kid, too.

Moore could start at linebacker for the Eagles, Miller says. He’s a superb, courageous tackler. And Moore wants to deliver hits as well as endure them.

Marcelle laughs.

“He asks me all the time, ‘You think Coach Miller will let me play defense?’”

No, mom answers.

But tough sometimes goes only so far. A year ago, Moore was 10 pounds lighter. He battled for extra yards, which meant he took extra hits. He did not finish a few games, and Miller wondered about the freshman’s durability.

In Saturday’s win, Moore took a helmet to his leg in the first quarter and missed several plays. Miller, thinking back to last season, wondered if his star would return.

He didn’t wonder long. Moore soon tapped Miller and said he was ready to go. Not much later, he busted a 74-yard touchdown.

“I was proud of him,”  Miller says. “He was telling me, ‘Hey, I got some more in me.’”

How much more does David III have to offer?

That’s the new question to ponder.