Sean Moore wants to win a Catholic League championship more than anything.
The Father Judge High School senior first baseman and captain leads a team that has everything it needs to compete in an always-ridiculously tough Catholic League, and Moore hopes the season ends with a championship.
And not just because he wants to know what it feels like to hoist that plaque.
“If we get a tattoo on my leg, maybe get a plaque on my leg, it means everything to me,” said Moore, who lives in Normandy. “But I really don’t want to win for me. I want to win, but it’s for my teammates. I want to win so bad for my coaches and my teammates. This team can definitely do it. It comes down to winning baseball games. We put work in the whole offseason, not just with our team, but by ourselves.
“This team is so good, but I think the reason we’re playing so hard is because most of us have been playing together for as long as I can remember. We’re all friends, we like playing together. We really want to get it this year.”
Moore, a captain, is certainly setting the bar high. But he’s doing it because he truly believes in the Crusaders baseball team.
So far, thanks to his leadership, Judge is rolling.
The Crusaders started the season 3-0. They won two games in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, during a preseason trip, and they also downed Holy Ghost Prep, which played in a state championship game last year.
It shows Judge should be ready to roll when Catholic League play begins, but the trip down south wasn’t just about making sure the team was ready to play baseball. It was also a chance for the already tight team to bond.
“It was a great experience going down there, it was great to get back to things, almost like spring training,” Moore said. “It was a great chance to see live pitching, and play some good teams.
“It was a good time for the guys to just be together and play baseball. We love being around each other and we love playing baseball, so it was a great trip. The weather wasn’t that great. I still went in the ocean, I was the only one to go in. It was freezing, but still, I had to at least go in.”
Moore and his team are now settling in hoping for a successful run against Catholic League opponents.
Last year, Judge had a solid season, going 9-3 in league play, which was good enough for third place. The Crusaders were eliminated from the playoffs by La Salle, a team that went on to win the District 12 championship and a game in the state playoffs.
The Crusaders return Dave Rodriguez, who last year as a sophomore was named the Catholic League Pitcher of the Year. They also return a lineup that can do a lot of damage, led by Moore, Brooks Henderson and Tim Gress.
Moore has a connection with all of these players. While primarily a first baseman, Moore has been Rodriguez’s catcher for a lot of their careers, though he’s unsure if that will continue this year.
And while it wasn’t baseball, he did lead Judge to a successful season with Henderson and Gress this year.
“We were all on the Judge golf team, and that was a lot of fun,” he said. “My grandpop got me into it a while ago and I didn’t have a fall sport, so me and Brooks decided to do it and we did pretty good. I love golf.”
Moore is focused on his season because he no longer has to worry about where he’ll play baseball in 2024. He’s bound for Harford Community College, a junior college in Maryland. He will play first base and might do some catching.
“I’m looking at majoring in business entrepreneurship, I took some classes this year and liked it,” Moore said. ”But I’ll take a lot of other classes, I want to get the math out of the way, and after a couple years at a junior college, I’ll see where I’m going and what that school offers.”
He’ll go there with plenty of confidence. According to Moore, the reason Judge has such potential this year is because of the work they put in. And confidence can go a long way.
“Confidence is ginormous,” he said. “As a leader, I want everyone to be confident and work hard. I know that in order to be great, you need to work hard and I do that for myself, but if I work hard and put in all the hard work, if (my teammates) see someone else working hard, they’ll do the same. I’m not thinking I’m working hard for my team or for me, I’m just working hard.”
Hopefully that hard work leads to a tattoo.
“The championship would mean so much to me,” he said. “I love Judge. I love the players, I love the coaches. I love the school.
“I did some open houses because I really like being here. The teachers are like our coaches, they care and they’re transparent. They want you to do well and they’ll help you.
“But I want to win for my teammates more than anything. We put in so much work together. It’s go time.”