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Boys' tennis Peak Performer: Stephen Moore of Cheyenne Mountain
When you play No. 1 singles at Cheyenne Mountain High School, every stroke is viewed under a microscope and every opponent is the other team’s best.
It can be a daunting position to be in, one that requires someone who’s tough and dedicated. Stephen Moore fits both criteria.
The senior recently finished his second year holding down the No. 1 spot for the Indians, once again battling to a third-place finish at the 4A state tournament as he did as a junior. Moore — whose older brothers Daniel and Jonathan also played No. 1 singles for two years for coach Dave Adams — never finished lower than third in state during his four-year career.
“Stephen is probably among only a handful of kids who played for us in the singles lineup all four years,” Adams said. “To me, it speaks for itself when you get a kid who can come in as a freshman and play in the top three spots on your team all four years. That’s quite a statement.”
Moore made a statement as a freshman by finishing as the state runner-up at No. 2 singles, then won a state crown at No. 3 singles his sophomore season. Then came the back-to-back third-place finishes in the toughest bracket of them all.
Those accomplishments are even more impressive considering the adversity Moore had to overcome on a yearly basis.
Before his sophomore season, Moore nearly severed the big toe on his right foot in a summer boating accident, but still managed to return to the team and help the Indians win a team title while conquering No. 3 singles.
The following year, he fractured his left wrist, but played through the pain to the third-place finish at No. 1 singles. Most recently, Moore broke a bone in his right foot in a grueling 6-4, 6-3 loss to 2011 state champ and 2012 runner-up David Mitchell of Kent Denver, but still won his next two matches to lock down another third-place result.
“I pride myself on being tough,” said Moore, who lost just two matches during the regular season as a senior.
An unparalleled work ethic, instilled by his father, Scott, also helped propel Moore to success.
“I definitely think my dad pushing me helped me a lot,” he said. “In the summer, I’d be out there 3-4 hours a day and out practicing every day after school. I put in a lot of time, and I think it showed on the court.”
Adams was impressed by Moore’s dedication to the sport.
“I don’t know if I’ve coached anybody who put in more time on the court than Stephen,” Adams said. “We’d have a practice on a Saturday, and afterward I’d ask where he was going. He’d say, ‘I’ve still got a few more hours to put in.’”
Moore decided during the summer to not pursue playing collegiate tennis and is enjoying a break from the game. He’s narrowed down his college choices to Alabama, Arkansas, Oklahoma and TCU and said the next time he plays tennis, it will be for fun.
“I’ll probably end up playing club or intramural tennis in college, but just not quite as serious as I have played,” Moore said. “I definitely loved all four years I played and am proud of what all the guys on the team did. It was great.”