Prep Signing: East’s Moose could play several positions for Catawba
By Ronnie Gallagher
GRANITE QUARRY — If there is anything Catawba football coach Curtis Walker should like about East Rowan recruit Dalton Moose, it’s this.
The cornerback is a team-first guy, regardless of where the Indians might use him.
Moose was a key figure in an East Rowan turnaround last season. The Mustangs went from one win in 2011 to eight, mainly because seniors like him sacrificed for the team.
East coach Danny Misenheimer evaluated his returners when he took over as head coach and Moose definitely caught his attention.
“I knew he was a fast kid, a hard worker and very knowledgeable,” Misenheimer said.
He told Moose he was no longer an outside linebacker. He was headed to the defensive backfield.
“I thought, ‘Oh, Lord, I’ve gotta play cornerback,’ ” the cheerful Moose laughed recently before an East track meet. “I had to practice a lot. I was out there a lot of weekends. It was trial by fire, pretty much. Linebacker is all downhill. Cornerback is all backwards. It’s a whole different ballgame.”
It took an interception in a win over South Rowan to make Moose feel totally comfortable.
“I jumped as high as I could and somehow, it made it into my hands,” Moose said. “I felt like I had finally made it.”
It took a win over West Rowan to make Moose more comfortable with Misenheimer’s winning attitude.
“From a freshman, you’re taught you’re never going to beat West,” Moose said. “We finally did it and the weight was off our shoulders.”
With a grin, he added, “After that, we got a little cockiness.”
As far as Moose, it was a low-key cockiness. Misenheimer said he wasn’t a screamer, just a producer.
“He is more of a leader by example,” Misenheimer said. “He’s not very vocal. But he does jump into any drill. He does what he’s asked.”
Moose seemed to improve each week.
“He made a bunch of key tackles,” Misenheimer pointed out. “As the year went, he was more technically sound. He changed a lot of games for us.”
Moose, a four-year varsity player, accepted the switch because he had been humbled by terrible seasons as a sophomore and junior.
“We were tired of losing and tired of being on the bottom,” he said.
Moose finished with three interceptions, including one against Rockingham County in the playoffs.
It was also his speed that drew the attention of not only Catawba, but several other schools.
The solid 6-foot, 186-pounder runs an 11.3 100 meters and a 23.4 200 meters.
“Catawba came in really early,” said Moose.
He was most interested in the local school because he could be reunited with his old high school coach, Brian Hinson, now a Catawba assistant.
“I didn’t feel at home anywhere else,” Moose said. “I really felt a sense of family at Catawba.”
And as all good sons should, he talked to his mom, Lisa.
“She said, ‘We can come watch you every Saturday. I’d like that,’ ”
What Lisa and dad Chad will watch is a versatile player who could be used at several positions.
“I’m not sure where he’ll play,” Misenheimer said. “I’m assuming cornerback or linebacker, somewhere on defense. He’ll definitely play special teams.”
“They said with my speed — wide receiver, maybe,” Moose added.
No problem. Moose has already proven to the Catawba staff he’ll move to any spot to get playing time — and help his team win.