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BY NICOLE MORGAN, Shorecrest Preparatory
Fans of two Tampa Bay area high schools saw the work of two former Tampa Bay Buccaneers on the same football field last weekend. Dave Moore, who coaches Shorecrest Preparatory, and Mike Alstott, coach of Northside Christian, met with their teams at Northside in a game Shorecrest dominated, 59-0. The two coaches spoke with tb-two* recently about their high school gigs.
What is your favorite part about coaching high school football?
Moore: Getting to teach the players all the things that I have learned through sports. There are many life lessons, like discipline, hard work, team work, accountability, etc., that they can take away from participating in team sports. I still use today the work ethic that I learned when I was in high school.
Alstott: The fact that I’ve been put in a position to be able to give back to the game that has done so much for me and my family really excites me. I learn as much from these kids as I hope they’re learning from me. Being able to, hopefully, teach these kids life lessons through football is really the best part.
How does it feel to look across the football field and see your old teammate coaching for the opposing team?
Moore: Strange! We were roommates, and worked out together daily as teammates. It (is) different working against Mike. But I will have fun with it.
Alstott: I think for a split second before kickoff it (was) a little weird, but once the whistle (blew) I doubt whether one of us (had) any time to think about it. I know the media liked to hype the game up as an Alstott vs. Moore game, but in reality, it’s about the kids out there, competing and having the experience of a lifetime.
Would you rather coach football or play football?
Moore: I like playing more, I think. I was always a kid that would rather go outside and play sports than watch someone else do it. Now that I am older, coaching is a little easier on my body! SO it is the next best thing.
Alstott: I’ve had my day playing, and for various reasons that’s over. It’s time for me to step aside and let the next generation take the ball and run with it, no pun intended.
What made you want to coach high school?
Moore: I was very lucky to play for a long time at the highest level. I have learned many things and was the type of player that really understood the fundamentals of the game. The high school players could benefit the most from the things that I have learned. My son Jake is also an eighth-grader, so I wanted to help him and his friends learn the game of football when they go to high school.
Alstott: It’s something I’ve always thought about since my NFL career days have been over. My son is getting close to playing in high school, and the opportunity just came about, so the timing was right.
Did you two plan on coaching high school football at the same time, or was it just a coincidence?
Moore: I did not plan to coach high school. I have an insurance agency, and I also am a radio broadcaster for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ games. So coaching was not really something I felt like I had time to do. But when I was asked, I gave it a lot of thought, and wanted to help and spend as much time with my son Jake before he graduated high school.
Alstott: A complete coincidence. I think the situations were similar with everything just falling into place at the right time.
If you could give one tip to an aspiring athlete, what would it be?
Moore: Don’t listen to people that tell you can’t do something. My entire career, starting in high school, people told me I could never make it. But I knew in my heart that if I worked hard enough, I would be a good player. I proved them all wrong. There are only two tight ends in the history of the NFL that played more games than I did. It is a good thing I did not listen to those people!
Alstott: Really it would be to just soak it all in. The game is over in the blink of an eye. Also, know that the game is bigger than any one player or coach. The game will be here long after we’ve all played and are done. Enjoy it while you can.