Weasel set Pam Pack record|Moore becomes wrestling’s all-time win leader

Published 11:35 am Sunday, December 20, 2009

By By KEVIN TRAVIS, Sports Editor
Sports Editor
There was nothing sneaky about it. Thanks to sheer determination, a strong work ethic and a love for the sport, Justin “Weasel” Moore became Washington’s all-time win leader in wrestling.
The Pam Pack senior won four matches during Saturday’s Milt Sherman Duals, held at D.H. Conley High School. Moore now has 142 victories in his career, as he surpassed Gerald Lawrence (139-13) as the Pam Pack’s all-time leader in wins.
“It just shows what work ethic and responsibility in yourself can do,” Moore said. “What you put into it, you get out of it.
“I wrestle seven days a week, every week, throughout the season.”
Moore recorded the historic win when he beat New Bern’s Demitrieus Davenport in the 171-pound match, as he went 4-1 on the day.
(Junior Marquin Hill went 5-0 during the duals. Washington went 0-5, falling to Havelock, J.H. Rose, New Bern, South Central and South Brunswick.)
Moore has now had his arm raised in victory more than any other wrestler in Washington history. Does it ever get old?
“No,” Moore said quickly and with a laugh. “I hate losing.”
Moore, who is now 17-1 this season and 142-18 in his career, is quite familiar with Lawrence, and was proud he could break his record.
“I respect Gerald,” Moore said. “Gerald did good when he was in high school. I guess he just had to pass the torch along.”
Washington coach Dan Riggs knows he has a special talent in Moore.
“The way he goes out there on that mat, he knows what he’s doing,” Riggs said. “He’s very mat-smart and very physical. He knows what to do.”
Moore said his driving force is his goal of winning a state championship.
“My number one goal is to win state,” Moore said. “If I lose one match, or if I lose two matches, it doesn’t matter. If I win state, that’s all that matters.”
The 171-pound senior took runner-up at state last year. Coming so close to achieving his dream has just fueled Moore all the more.
“It just pushes me harder,” Moore said. “It just shows me how much more I have to work to get where I need to be.”
Riggs believes Moore, who went 47-2 last year, 39-7 as a sophomore and 39-8 as a freshman, has a good chance to win state this year.
“I told him at the beginning of the season that the state title is his, but it’s also his to give away,” Riggs said. “If he decides not to wrestle hard, it could easily be taken away by anybody else.”
Moore took up wrestling before middle school. The soccer team’s loss was wrestling’s gain.
“When I didn’t make All-Stars in soccer, I needed something else to do,” Moore said. “I wanted to get out of the slump that I was in. I found wrestling and went from there.”
Moore had a spectacular middle school career, going 32-1 overall.
“I knew I was good at it in middle school,” Moore said. “Everybody was just starting up and I already had two years under my belt. By the time I was in seventh grade, I knew I was good then.”
Moore credits his parents, Lee and Melissa Moore, for helping him succeed.
“My mom supports me in everything,” Moore said. “My dad, I owe everything in my sports life to him. I can tell you that I wouldn’t be anywhere if it wasn’t for him.”
Once high school is over, Moore will likely be wrestling in college.
“With the type of wrestler he is, he could probably go to the top level ,” Riggs said.
Moore is hoping to wrestle close to home, eyeing such schools as UNC-Pembroke and N.C. State.
“I don’t want to move too far away,” Moore said. “My favorite college team is East Carolina, but they don’t have a wrestling team. There’s really no school I dream of going to to wrestle. As long as I go somewhere, I’ll be happy.”
Before that happens, Moore will have his hand raised in victory several more times.
And, hopefully for Moore, that last time will come as a state champion.
Justin “Weasel” Moore
2009-10 Senior (17-1) CURRENT
2008-09 Junior (47-2) 3-1 in tourney and second to Chris Hill of Mooresville at 171 pounds
2007-08 Sophomore (39-7) 3-2 in tourney and fourth to Chris Hill of Mooresville at 160 pounds
2006-07 Freshman (39-8) 2-2 at 152 pounds at state
142-18 CURRENT
Gerald Lawrence (139-13) on the all-time win list.