National Junior College Athletic Association player Alan Moore
By Steve Diffey
Sports Information Director
Holmes Community College
Update to story below: Alan got his chance to kick against Jones County Junior College and attempted a 30-yard field goal late in the game. He hopes to play again this Thursday night versus Mississippi Delta.
When scrolling down the 2010 Holmes Community College football roster chances are you would never have any reason to stop at No. 80 other than to say he’s a sophomore placekicker from Taylorsville.
Little do most people realize is that Holmes’ No. 80 happens to be 60-year-old Alan Moore, who played his freshman year at Jones County Junior College in Fall 1968 as placekicker and is the oldest person ever to play football in the National Junior College Athletic Association.
Tom Thompson, 61, of Coppell, Texas, became the oldest player to play college football in November, 2009, when he kicked for Austin College. Moore would not be the oldest NJCAA student-athlete because Ken Mink, 73, played several basketball games two years ago for Roane State Community College in Harriman, Tennessee.
Moore only got a year in at Jones before heading off to the Vietnam War in Dec. 1968. He served with the 4th Infantry working in short and long range reconnaissance. He and 11 guys from his unit were in Vietnam 11 months, 28 days.
After returning home, he went into the construction business and served as a superintendent until Jan 2009, when he was laid off from work. He came to Mississippi in Fall 2009 to visit his grandkids, and he watched Jones for the first time play football in Fulton at Itawamba Community College. His brother, Lynn, is the athletic director at Itawamba County AHS. At that time, the process of returning to the game began.
He purchased footballs from Dicks Sporting Goods and square-toed kicking shoes from Pro Kicker and built goal posts in his daughter’s yard to practice.
“I kicked at every football field I was around,” Moore explained. In the spring, Moore tried at Jones to make their team for 2010. “It was in my heart to play at Jones Junior College,” he said, “but they were non-responsive to it.”
While kicking at fields all over the state of Mississippi, Moore ran into Holmes Head Coach Danny Robertson’s aunt, Linda Bourgeois, who worked at Mississippi Valley State University.
“I first heard about him from Mississippi Valley State University,” Robertson said. “My aunt said she saw him trying out, and he was good. He just had no eligibility there, and she told him about me.
“It peaked my curiosity so I set up a time for him to come kick for me,” Robertson said. “He did a good job. I told him we only had one kicker coming back, and if he wanted to earn a spot with us, we would welcome him to two-a-days. He showed up here and things have worked out for him.”
“I got the impression from Coach Robertson that he was willing to work with me,” Moore said. “Before July 15, I would come through here (Goodman) and stop and kick off the game field. The security guards knew me by name. On July 15, I moved my camper to the Holmes County State Park. I got to where I was nearly perfect kicking extra points off the ground, and I was interested in getting a snapper and holder involved in it.”
Moore said God has led him on his path to Holmes Community College and the return to the playing field. “It’s by the Grace of God that he’s given me a talent that I can come back and bring something positive and productive. If I could sway one kid that’s on the borderline to do something for himself, then it would be a very positive thing.
“I hope I can impress one kid,” he added, “get them to take one step further, accomplish something. It’s never been a ‘me’ thing. It’s a ‘we’ thing.”
Moore said he’s living his dream. “I can honestly tell them that I am dreaming a dream. Some dreams are not meant to be, and some storms we cannot weather. But if you believe in God and believe in yourself, dreams will come true and storms will be weathered. If you don’t believe in yourself, it’ll never happen. Without God and others, I wouldn’t be here today.”
When asked about Moore making history, Robertson said, “It doesn’t surprise me that he will be (the oldest player in junior college history). His ability is impressive that he can come out and kick every day. By the time practice is done, he’s done a lot of kicking.”
Robertson said Moore uses it as an opportunity to mentor the players on the team. “I’m not sure what motivated him to come back to school for his second year of junior college,” Robertson said. “He sees it as a positive way to be a role model for those young guys.”
As a kicker at Taylorsville, Moore said he used a regular soccer shoe to kick, but he found soccer shoes nowadays are not made the same so that’s why he resorted to a square-toed shoe. “It took me two months to get the ball off the ground,” Moore said. “I had to get my steps down and also get used to not having the two-inch tee to kick from. I also had to take four cleats off the shoe to keep the cleat from getting caught in the turf. I also have 1.3 seconds to get the ball of the ground.”
Moore hasn’t gotten his chance yet in the game, but he feels it’s coming. “I wasn’t disappointed that I didn’t get in the game,” he said. “I wasn’t the best kicker in the game. Things have gotten better and maybe I’ll get a touch or two in the next few games.”
Holmes kicker Jonathan Smith said when he was told a 60-year-old was trying out, he laughed thinking the coaches were kidding with him, but now that Moore is here, he’s glad to be on the same team. “I think it’s really good,” Smith said. “I’ve never heard anything like it, but I’m glad he wants to finish out his collegiate career.”
Smith was the Bulldogs only kicker last season so things have changed in several ways. He and Moore share reps in practice. “It’s certainly a lot less tense, and things are more enjoyable. The first day I saw him hit a 40-yarder. He really has to be in shape to do as many reps as we do.
“He really gets along well with all the players,” he added. “He knows we are different, and he understands that he can influence them and get them to not give up on their dreams.”
When Moore gets his chance, Smith says he’ll be cheering him on. “I’d be supporting him 100 percent,” he said.
Moore has had to get used to going to class again. He said one question in his class was what would he be doing in five years, he answered, “Well my question to her was do I answer it as an 18-year-old kid or as a 60-year-old, she said to answer it as a 60-year-old,” he said. “I said in five years I would be drawing my Social Security and watching my grandkids play sports.”
Moore’s wife, Janice, and daughter, Chelsea are in Homestead, Fla., while he has two other daughters in Mississippi, Brandi Welch, who works in patient information at UMC in Jackson, and Annashi Wyatt, who works at McLaurin Elementary.
“The people here in Goodman and Durant have been awesome,” Moore said. “I could have been here all my life. The faculty and coaching staff are awesome as well. It’s a blessing from God that I’m here today. It’s been a life-changing event. I have become a better husband, dad and granddad.”
Moore doesn’t do the conditioning drills nor is he required to stay in the football dorm. “I struggled with living in the dorm,” Moore said. Coach Robertson agreed grinning, “I was able to make a few adjustments on that.”
“I want to thank all my teammates for accepting me on the team and for all the respect they have shown me,” he said.
District Director of Communications
Director of Alumni
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 367
Physical Address: 9216 Highway 14
Goodman, MS 39079
662-472-9068, office phone
662-472-9059, office fax
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