Cory Moore is one of those coaches who is always striving to push players to be their best. That is why there are so many Lakewood High School graduates playing both on Saturdays at high powered colleges and on Sundays in the NFL. That is also why Moore’s 2019 team was successful enough to reach the Florida Class 4A Football State Semifinals, and why he is now crowned as The 2019 Premier Coach of Tampa Bay High School Football.
Moore has been making noise on the Florida high school scene for years as a standout player and now coach. He also spent time working for the Jacksonville Jaguars and time in various college programs learning how different systems work. The result this year was that Moore led the Lakewood Spartans to an undefeated regular season before falling just two points short of the State Finals in a 9-7 loss to eventual champions Booker T. Washington.
What becomes clear when watching Moore work is that his teams are a different kind of tough. The Spartans won so many games this year by blowout scores, but Moore’s signature in all of those games was that his defense would not concede points. Scores like a 48-0 win over St. Petersburg to open the season became common place as schools of the caliber of Pinellas Park, Boca Ciega, and Sebring were all held pointless against the Spartans.
With all the big wins, though, one game stands out as a true mark of where Moore had the program this season. The game against Madison County was tied at 14 entering overtime, with the Spartans having been held without a score since the first quarter. Many teams would have folded in this situation, but Moore’s side was able to pull out a 21-20 gut check of a win which helped propel Lakewood forward to dominate the rest of their season.
Moore is a coach that wants to progress up the ranks within the football world. Until that pro or college job comes calling, however, he will always have Lakewood in the conversation as the best team in its class thanks to his work ethic, his football smarts, and his ability to coax every last piece of talent out of his players.