This week’s Taylor County Athletes of the Week are showing that superior athletes aren’t always young students.
Although the sports world here in Taylor County is in somewhat of a lull, with many programs being in their off-season, there is no off-season for the dedicated coaches that work behind the scenes.
Grafton High School girls’ basketball head coach Andrew Moore works around the clock to not only make improvements to the school’s program, but to grow the interest and participation in the sport throughout the entire community.
Moore began his coaching youths in 2004. In 2007, he made the move to coach at the middle school level where he led the Knights for two years. After his time at the middle school, Moore became an assistant for the GHS boys’ program until 2013, before finding his calling as head coach of the Lady Bearcats.
He has been leading the GHS team since 2014 and has made great strides with the program since that time. He possessed a great passion for coaching and is continuously looking for ways to encourage and push his players. Keeping them active and involved even during the off-season.
Not only does Moore exhibit a great amount of dedication to basketball at GHS, but he also plays a proactive role in growing the sport throughout Taylor County. Moore has noted on several occasions that it is a goal of his to create an all-girls youth basketball league in the area. He has also been instrumental in bringing basketball camps to the area and hosting top shot competitions providing the opportunity for children from all over to practice the sport and grow a love for the game.
In addition, Moore is also working to get a community basketball event off the ground with a three-on-three series, which would provide youth and adults alike the opportunity to hit the blacktop and take part in some friendly community competition.
While Moore no longer suits up in uniform and takes to the court himself, he is a next level athlete as his calling is now much greater. Moore mentors and shapes the future of Taylor County girls’ basketball, and he is proving to not only have answered that call, but he’s willing to go above and beyond for his team and the future of the sport in the area.
Much like Moore, GHS girls track head coach Becky Lake also puts work in during the off season for not only her team, but for the community, as well.
Lake has been driving force behind the success seen with the Lady Cats track team, as this past season she was handed a young roster, but with her coaching abilities was able to guide the group of fresh runners and fielders to unlock their potential and reach for new personal bests.
Lake devotes an immense amount of time to the track and field program at GHS, leading the team to greatness and having great impacts on the developing athletes she trains, coaching with heart and the upmost confidence in her team members. She conditions her team hard and practices them even harder, standing beside them on their journey to becoming elite competitors.
During the season, Lake commented on the challenges of boasting a younger team but beamed with pride on how they well performed all season; and in part, their successful season and growth was thanks to her and her unwillingness to give up when things get difficult.
In addition, Lake teaches her team about more than running and field events; she leads by example, teaching them lessons on being a good friend and member of the community.
Even though their season had already ended when disaster stuck one of their own, Lake rallied together the Lady Cats and held roadblocks throughout town in order to raise funds for a fellow track coach whose family fell victim to a devastating fire and lost all their belongings as a result.
Now that her fifth season of leading the Lady Cats has come to an end, Lake has made the bittersweet decision to resign from her position to allow her more time to focus on her daughters. While she will be missed beyond measure, the impact she made on the GHS track and field program and its members is sure to last for years to come.
Congratulations to Andrew Moore and Becky Lake for being named as this week’s Taylor County Athletes of the Week. The impressions you both have left on your team members along with the influences you have been to them are more valuable than most could ever realize.