It was a typical Tuesday preseason football practice for Bradley Moorer, or as typical as can be for a Seffner Christian program in its first year.
Moorer took the handoff and hit the hole hard, lowering his right shoulder to bull through a defender.
"At first it felt like someone had chopped my arm in half," Moorer said. "Excruciating pain."
Moorer separated his shoulder that day and had to wait 30 minutes before it could be popped back into place.
"It was one of the worst pains in the world," Moorer said.
The separated shoulder was debilitating and looked like it would cost Moorer a few weeks off the field, but the news grew grim as time passed.
"I had an MRI done and it was worse that they originally thought," Moorer said.
The prognosis: a torn labrum. Moorer, a senior, had to face a tough choice. His football season was over while soccer and basketball would be wiped out as well if he elected surgery.
"It would have been easy for (Moorer) to sit out," basketball coach Roger Duncan said. "But that's not his way."
So Moorer put off going under the knife and suited up for Duncan. But in addition to his uniform, Moorer also was required to wear a harness that severely limited his range of motion in his right arm.
"When the brace is on," Moorer said. "I can't lift it above my head."
That meant the right-hand dominant Moorer had to do everything — everything — left handed on the basketball court.
"This was my senior year and all and I had already missed all of the football season," Moorer said. "There was no way I was missing basketball."
Duncan was apprehensive watching one of — if not the — top player on the team give it a go with one arm. Duncan winced every time Moorer took a charge but he knew his senior point guard could withstand the rigors of the season against rival Bradenton Christian.
"He had 11 assists and no turnovers," he said. "The kid is just a warrior."
If Duncan needed further proof of Moorer's level of dedication — if not pain level — it came toward the end of January.
After playing stopper for the Crusaders' soccer team in a double overtime, penalty kick match at home for the Bay Conference Championship that started at 4 p.m., Moorer had a basketball game at Citrus Park Christian. With tip-off rapidly approaching, Duncan figured Moorer wouldn't be making the game.
"I texted (Moorer) and told him not to worry about making it out to Citrus Park," Duncan said. "He said 'I'm already on the way.' He didn't have to be there but he drove all the way across town and didn't warm up, threw on his uniform and played."
While this year's Crusader's team has had its worst season during Duncan's tenure, a healthy Moorer would have made all the difference in the world. Even still, Moorer leads the Crusaders in assists (4.5) and steals (3.1) while averaging 6.7 points per game.
"He at least averages 15 points per game if he wasn't hurt," Duncan said. "And I believe with all my heart that we'd be 16-6 instead of 10-12."
Brandon Wright can be reached at [email protected]