Photo credit: Jim Stankiewicz
By Alex Inman
After years of sprained ankles, sliced knees, and a torn left shoulder labrum, Curtis Moore’s health has always been a question for the men’s soccer team.
As an avid snowboarder, Moore has always tried to keep both sports in his life. That’s a combination, though, that many Division One coaches highly discourage due to the high risk of injury. On March 3rd, 2022, Moore proved his coaches’ concerns were valid after having surgery for another torn shoulder labrum due to a snowboarding accident.
“Curtis is an important part of the team and a utility player that we can plug into different places,” Men’s assistant soccer coach, Conrad Whyte, said. “So, obviously when we heard about the shoulder injury it was not the best thing that could’ve happened.”
With the spring season just starting and the thought of his senior season looming over his head, Moore had to make the decision of committing to a full comeback or getting cut from the team.
“After the injury, my coach told me that there was a 95% chance that I would be cut from the team if I got hurt again. I had to beg him to at least give me the chance to let me stay with them for the spring season,” Moore said.
Determined to prove his coaches wrong, Moore went all in with his recovery as soon as he was out of surgery.
While the recovery timeline for his torn right labrum was laborious and time consuming, (the shortest timeline being a sling needing to be worn for 6 weeks, physical therapy for another 6 weeks after that, and then more physical therapy on your own), Moore was unphased.
“As I have been through this recovery process before, I knew I could do it again. All I needed to do was focus on the end result because I was willing to do basically anything to get back to that point,” he said. “I’ve always been a mentally strong person so it just felt like another life test I needed to conquer.”
Looking on the brightside and being optimistic is not anything new for Moore. While he was in high school, his mom was diagnosed with breast cancer.
“I have always been a very positive person, even with all of these injuries,” he said. “But seeing how my mom was able to stay positive through all of that encouraged me to stay positive too.”
After dedicating all of his spring and summer to intense physical therapy and recovering, his doctor cleared him two months ahead of schedule, giving Moore the opportunity to prove himself to his coaches in the pre-season and show that he is worthy of playing on the team.
“You have to give students a chance, it is important to understand that mistakes will be made and how you come out of [those mistakes] will make you a better person. The situation is that you just have to learn from them,” Whyte said.
Moore talked about how “there is truly nothing like the feeling of playing on the field and being with my teammates. After sitting out so many games, I also wanted to give my parents the opportunity to watch me play and do my best.” Getting the opportunity to prove that he was back to his old self, if not stronger, helped Moore to feel as if all the hard work paid off.
With the season now in full swing, Moore has become a starter, playing nearly every minute of every game. Moore has also gone on to score his first collegiate goals and become a large asset to the team. When looking back to six months ago when his coaches threatened to cut him, Whyte stated “that 95% chance [of being cut] was just to scare him a bit over the summer as
we wanted him to come into the best shape of his life. We knew how important he was based on all the positions he can play, and it is evident because that is what he is doing right now.”
While he has not decided if he will be on the field again next year, Moore now appreciates the sport even more than before, valuing the opportunity to be a starter and soak in every minute.