MARION, Va. (WJHL)- In our new digital series ‘High School Standouts,’ Digital Sports Reporter Michael Epps features local athletes with incredible talent, hoping to take that talent to the next level.
These are athletes that stand out both on and off the field.
This week’s High School Standout is Will Moss, an offensive and defensive lineman for Marion High School in Virginia.
Sallie Moss is the Athletic Director at Marion Senior High School.
“As an AD and as a parent I think it’s important that they stay involved,” Sallie said.
She played basketball herself at Emory & Henry College, becoming one of the top-five all-time leading scorers. She is now raising three athletes of her own.
The oldest is Marion Senior High football player, Will.
“One thing he said when he was real little, I asked him why he liked football so much, he said ‘I just like hitting people,'” Sallie said.
Will is an offensive and defensive lineman for the Scarlet Hurricanes. He earned All-State honors each of the last two years.
“Individually I’ve gotten stronger throughout the summer, I’ve gotten faster, I’ve learned better technique,” Will said.
“The whole thing with a guy like Will is he’s so big,” head football coach Tim Smith said. “I mean you get a guy that’s 6’3″, 305 (pounds) and can move and uses his hands well, the hardest thing we have is we have to double team him in practice.”
He’s focused on football now, and in a few months, he will switch gears to wrestling. He racked up a 44-1 record last year and won the Class 2 state heavyweight title.
“Football I feel like makes me more tough and wrestling makes me more fast and have more agility,” Will said. “Like every year of my high school career I go to football, and then I go to wrestling, and then we’ll have spring ball and I feel so much faster like ‘woah, where did this come from?'”
But that transition from football to wrestling is not easy.
“He knew that maintaining his weight was going to be an issue so the whole spring season he was over at the baseball field running the bleachers to help maintain that weight, while he was lifting weights for football,” Sallie said. “So that work ethic I think has really paid off for him.”
“It takes a lot of discipline and determination, I plan on going to states so if I have to cut a lot of weight it’s going to happen,” Will said.
But Will isn’t alone here. His dad and uncle both played football at Virginia Tech.
“Yeah, anytime you get a guy like Mr. Moss there who, we’ll call him a guiding light, is somebody who has been there and done that and done the things that Will wants to do, anytime you get that it’s going to work out for him,” Will said.
He also knows that whenever times get tough, he always has his mother nearby.
“I think he loves having me at the school because he gets to come in my office and raid my fridge all the time,” Sallie said.
“My mom’s always been there to help me with mental issues, like it’s all in your head, there’s no pain, you just got to break through it,” Will said.
“When he’s making hard hits and really disturbing the play and creating chaos I get super excited, and you can hear me yelling,” said Sallie. “Like sometimes I break from the AD and go to that mom where I’m yelling.”
Follow this series throughout the year as WJHL’s Michael Epps finds the High School Standout every week on WJHL.com.