Lincoln’s Moore closes career with Wingate Award and Empire Challenge

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Javon Moore still doesn’t look like a quarterback, but that’s only before the ball is hiked into his hands.

The 5-foot-8 Abraham Lincoln senior said when he first put on cleats for his Brooklyn Renegades youth team, he played wide receiver and corner back. But the next season, the coach — Moore’s cousin — recognized his strong arm and placed him under center, where he has been ever since.

“There was no going back,” he said. “I forgot how to tackle. I forgot how to catch. There was nothing else but quarterback.”

Abraham Lincoln was just fine with that. Railsplitters coach Shawn O’Connor remembers Moore as a seventh grader at a camp he helped run. He was one of the smallest kids on the field, but also one of the toughest.

“He competed in everything that he did there,” O’Connor said. “He just wanted to win.”

That’s exactly what he did in a Railsplitters uniform. Moore, who will attend Morrisville State College in the fall, was on two city-championship teams and was the most valuable player in this year’s title game, while playing on a severely sprained ankle. He also earned the Wingate Award, given by the Public School Athletic League to the best student athlete in each of its sports.

“It’s an honor to get an award and be recognized for all the things that I did this year, and all the things that my team did.”

What Moore did was throw 29 touchdowns and amass 2,090 passing yards. He did so as receivers Malik Andrews and Carlos Stewart got better around him and because of him. Moore also ran for 544 yards and four more scores. His two touchdowns and 191-yard performance on a bad ankle in the city final was the highlight of the season.

“He makes things happen.” O’Connor said.

He had a solid outing representing New York City in the Empire Challenge senior all-star game on June 25 at Hofstra University. Moore carried the ball four times for 37 yards and completed three of five passes for 24 more in New York City’s 24–18 loss to Long Island. He has already more than proven himself, especially after his senior season. The size of his heart was the only thing that mattered.

“People always looked down on him because if his size his whole life,” O’Connor said. “He epitomizes what we want to be about in this game.”

Reach reporter Joseph Staszewski at Follow him on twitter @cng_staszewski.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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