Prior to Friday’s Best of Barrow wrestling competition, Matt Moore was asked how many wins he had this season.
Moore responded that he didn’t know how many wins he had, but did know how many losses were on his record. The reason was because that number is an easy one to keep up: Moore has zero losses during the 2013-2014 wrestling season.
Moore has set the standard for local wrestlers in recent seasons. He finished as a state champion as a sophomore and lost on points in the state championship last winter. This year, he seems poised to take another state crown before making his way to the University of North Carolina on a wrestling scholarship.
Jim Stoudenmire coached Moore for three seasons at AHS before taking the job at Winder-Barrow High School.
Stoudenmire has termed Moore a “monster on the mat” and those words probably define the wrestler the best.
When Stoudenmire was coaching the Mat Wildcats he would have to get on the mat himself to practice with Moore since no one else could truly give him a workout.
“I could hang with him for a few minutes, but he just wears you out,” the coach said. “I know he is in top form right now. I wouldn’t want to wrestle him with an axe.”
Moore wrestled in the final varsity match Friday night.
By this time his team already had secured enough points for the win. He seemed to take a deliberate approach and pinned his opponent in the second period.
“I think he let it go a little longer,” AHS coach Graham Burns said. “He just turned it on when he was ready to end the match.”
Going into this week, Moore was 33-0. Few opponents have given him a legitimate challenge. That likely won’t happen until deep in the upcoming state tournament.
Moore has the look of someone who spends hours on the wrestling mat improving his craft. His right ear is already cauliflowered, a common occurrence in boxers and old-time professional wrestlers and current MMA fighters. The cartilage in the ear becomes damaged after numerous blows and blood clots. Often considered a batch of honor, it becomes permanently swollen, resembling a cauliflower.
Following the Best of Barrow wrestling event Friday, Moore was seen at the basketball games between the two local schools. Off the mat, he’s simply a regular high school student. On the mat, he’s something entirely different.
“He knows how to flip the switch,” Stoudenmire said. “It’s not always an easy thing to do and not all wrestlers can do it. Once he’s focused on his opponent, then he becomes a fierce competitor and one that you don’t want to mess with.”
Moore is actually one of several AHS wrestlers who have a chance to go far in the upcoming state tournament. For Moore, however, it may be a question of him running out of opponents to defeat when all is said and done.
Moore doesn’t brag on himself with words. His bragging is down on the mat where his accomplishments during his high school career speak for themselves.
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