SEQUIM, Wash. – Accomplished athletes are known as fast and versatile, with toughness and intelligence. Selfless team players. Traits that make for great performances – in any sport.
At Sequim High School, located in the shadows of Washington state’s Olympic Mountains, quarterback by fall and lacrosse midfielder by spring, Miguel Moroles can be defined by one more adjective.
In Friday’s Olympic League gridiron showdown against Bremerton, the 5-9, 160-pound right-hander engineered a comeback that brought the Wolves to within a single touchdown of toppling the defending league champions.
A test that earned the junior Applebee’s Player of the Week honors by his coaches.
Impressive, but not unexpected, for the multi-sport athlete whose scrappy play on the lacrosse field once resulted in a fractured finger on his throwing hand.
An injury that would cause most to reconsider their choices.
A 3.70 National Honor Society student with a fall schedule stacked with AP history and literature classes along with pre-calculus, honors chemistry and photography, Moroles took a spot on the Wolves’ bench with time winding down in the first half to contemplate the 34-0 predicament facing his team.
“Not a lot of the people in the stands thought that we could do this,” Moroles said. “But we listened to the coaches. They motivated us.”
In the third, with Moroles back at the helm, things started to go the Wolves’ way. And it was Moroles’ poise and fitness that helped them get there.
“After the first touchdown we started to regain our composure,” he said. “The team believed.”
And by the time the fourth quarter started, everyone was all in, he said.
Backed by successive stops from his defense, Moroles had run for three touchdowns that eventually set up a fourth-and-10 in Bremerton territory with just over a minute remaining. Electing to go for it, his 25-yard pass found the hands of Josiah Anastasi to make it 41-34.
Following an onside kick recovery by Anastasi, the come-back fell short as Moroles was chased out of bounds on the Bremerton 15 as time expired.
The performance was a taste of things to come for Moroles, whose is looking to both his primary sport, football, along with lacrosse, to catch the eyes of collegiate recruiters.
“Going anywhere to play a sport would be phenomenal,” he said. “Football is definitely more saturated, but there are opportunities in lacrosse.”
A football player since the fifth grade, Moroles started playing lacrosse as a freshman after teammate Ryan Root brought him to the joint Port Angeles-Sequim high school lacrosse team’s practice. Along with Steve Rash and Eric Prosser, the juniors make up a group of four Sequim football players now honing their skills on the lacrosse field.
“I liked it,” said Moroles, the 2013 Olympic League passing leader through week three, looking for another edge in his primary sport. “It helps my footwork and overall speed. Lacrosse gets me in great shape for football.”
After just three lacrosse games as a frosh, Moroles quickly built a reputation as a tough and effective midfielder. In nine games during the 2013 spring season, the sophomore led the team with 61 ground balls – a turnover statistic critical in changing game momentum.
But it’s both the sport’s physicality along with the chance to relax and just be an athlete without the rigors of leadership that keeps a lacrosse stick in Moroles’ hand.
“Football is a sport that requires me to be very serious and a vocal leader,” he said. “In lacrosse, a lot of our team knows the game better than me. It’s nice to be one of the supporting roles on the team and play a game for the fun of it.”
For Moroles and his football grit, there likely wasn’t a lacrosse game more satisfying than last spring’s matchup with rival North Kitsap.
After trying to elude a pestering Viking midfielder, Moroles finally had enough and put his football skills to work. “I just lowered my shoulder and leveled him,” he said. “Lacrosse is so physically demanding. It’s really good.”
Look for more big plays on the gridiron by Moroles and the Wolves as Sequim takes on North Kitsap this Friday, Sept. 27. Game time is 7 p.m. at North Kitsap Stadium in Poulsbo.
About High School Lacrosse in Washington State
Lacrosse is the fastest growing sport in the US and in Washington state has experienced double-digit annual growth throughout the past decade. In its fourth decade of play, 4,000 student athletes attending over 200 schools across the state play high school lacrosse. Governed by the Washington High School Boys Lacrosse Association and the Washington Schoolgirls Lacrosse Association, the sport is played during the spring season and capped by annual boys and girls state championships in late May. To learn more about lacrosse in Washington or to receive daily high school results visit www.WashingtonHSLAX.com or follow us at www.Facebook.com/uslacrossewashington or Twitter @WashingtonHSLAX. To learn more about the history, traditions and values of lacrosse, college opportunities available to students and the 21 US states now sanctioning high school lacrosse visit USLacrosse.org.