For about two months, Jacquise Moore left his home and everything he knew to try to strengthen himself and his basketball career at Flora MacDonald Academy in eastern North Carolina.
It was then that Moore learned how much he wanted to be back at Concord High with his friends, teammates and coaches.
"I never quite felt like I fit in or that I was wanted there," said Moore, who got back to Concord about a month ago. "Concord is like a family. It's great to be back. I hope to have big impact in both football and basketball."
Moore's impact was immediately felt in his first football game back in a win over Jay M. Robinson.
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The senior wide receiver had five catches for 137 yards and a touchdown in his debut this year for the Spiders.
Moore did it again in a win against Central Cabarrus, in which he caught two passes for 77 yards and a score, and against Cox Mill, catching seven passes for 121 yards and another touchdown in the narrow Spider loss. Against Mount Pleasant, he had 163 receiving yards and two touchdowns on five catches, including an 87-yard score.
Moore, who had 19 catches for 499 yards and five touchdowns heading into last Friday's 35-7 win against Hickory Ridge, has added another dimension to the Spider offense. His speed and athletic ability make life easier for his teammates.
He could be key in Friday's game against rival A.L. Brown, as he can line up at quarterback, running back, wide receiver, kick returner and even defensive back, if needed.
"Jacquise is a big-time playmaker for this team," said Concord football coach Glen Padgett. "Teams have to pay attention and maybe double him. So, he not only makes big plays for us, himself, but he also makes people around him better, because he opens things up."
After scoring only 79 points overall in the first five games, the Concord offense, led by sophomore quarterback B.J. Beecher, has found new life, scoring 160 points in the last five.
It is no coincidence that Moore, whose team has won three of four, is a big part of Concord's success.
"My first game back (against Robinson) was the most fun I've ever had on a football field," said Moore. "It felt so good to be back at Concord, doing what I do."
While Moore is a key member of the Spider football team, he will be an even bigger contributor to the basketball squad.
Last season, Moore led the Spiders to a berth in the 3A state championship game, coming up just short of a state title with a 28-point effort in the 84-79 loss to Rocky Mount.
Along the way, Moore earned first-team All-SPC, all-state and was the most valuable player of the 3A Western Regionals.
Moore, who has been a part of 83 wins on the hardwood at Concord, also became the third player in Spider history - along with former Concord stars Ishua Benjamin, who went on to play at N.C. State, and Dee Bost, who plays at Mississippi State - to score 1,000-career points by their junior seasons.
"Jacquise is one of the best players we've ever had here, and that puts him in some big-time company," said basketball coach Scott Brewer, noting Moore is being recruited by several major Division I basketball schools.
"He is the key to our offense and our defense. I think everybody knows who Jacquise Moore is."
While Moore and Brewer are looking forward to basketball season, right now the senior wideout is focused on football only.
Moore thinks both the basketball and football teams have a legitimate shot at going all the way this year.
The Spiders won both the 3A football and basketball state titles in the 2006-07 season led by Bost. Moore hopes that he, like his childhood friend, will be able to lead his teams to similar accomplishments.
"I definitely want to go out on top of my game," said Moore. "I think we have a great chance at winning a ring in both football and basketball this year. That would be a dream come true."
And just another reason why Moore is glad to be back home.