Scholar AthleteStory by Cindy Reid • Photos by Shelia Scott
Meet Nate Moon, a young man who is excelling both athletically and academically at Savannah Christian Preparatory School (SCPS). Coming off last year’s explosive season with the Savannah Christian varsity football team, Nate is ready for the Raiders upcoming season. He says he is giving his team, his studies, his faith and his community everything he’s got his senior year. “I am very excited to be a senior. This is the year you leave your mark”.
On the Field
Nate has been playing football since he was seven years old. “I really enjoyed it when I was little and so I kept playing as I got older,” he says, “I played for the ‘Pooler Packers’ recreation department team with the same group of guys all the way through from age eight to high school .” He left rec park football when he started at SCPS, where he has been for the last three years and is currently a senior. About his education at SCPS Nate says, “I appreciate and learn from the school’s Christian worldview and being there allows me to get a higher education.”
Nate is on both the varsity soccer and football teams, but says he definitely enjoys football more because, “I enjoy the physicality of the game and I am better at football than I am at soccer.” Although the soccer team plays in the spring and football is in the fall, Nate says “Some days are both, when the seasons overlap, I have soccer workouts at 5 a.m. and football workouts in the afternoon, after I finish my homework.”
Now in his fourth year at SCPS, Nate plays multiple positions but says “I like safety position best, it’s a nice mix between linebacker and defensive back, and I get to make tackles and cover players. It is the position I see myself playing at the next level.” He says he responds very well to coaching and one of the things he prides himself on is “Being told something once and then putting it directly into action.”
Savannah Christian Football Program Director Baker Woodward says, “Nate plays linebacker, safety, and running back for us. He had over 800 yards rushing last year along with being one of our leading receivers. He was second in the state all classifications in tackles as well, receiving honors as the Savannah Quarterback club defensive player of the year.”
“However, what is most impressive about Nate is that he has a 4.2 GPA and is heavily involved in his church and throughout the community. Nate is pleasure to coach and takes pride in being the best he can possibly be at whatever position we put him at. We look forward to what he can do in the 2019 football season. He has been named preseason All State on the defensive side of the ball.”
Nate says Coach Woodward “brings energy, culture, knowledge and organization to the team. He teaches us how to be outstanding young men on, and off, the football field.” Last year the Raiders made it to the semi-finals. And although every team sets its sights on having a championship season, Nate says “We look at winning each week, one week at a time.”
Many are student athletes, but only a few can rightly identify as a scholar athlete. Having a 4.2 GPA puts Nate in that category. He says “I enjoy learning, especially math and science and biology. I want to be a mechanical engineer. I really enjoyed my part-time position at a diesel repair shop this summer, where we worked on diesel engines and I learned a lot about the trucking business.” It’s not all studies and sports, Nate has been playing the tuba since fifth grade and plays in the school band when his busy schedule permits.
Nate and his family attend Tremont Temple Missionary Baptist Church, and he is very active in Top Teens of America, a national youth service organization. “We serve our community by working with People Helping People, Hospice, Clean up the Street and other local organizations.” He says, “I understand how blessed I am by serving others.” College Ahead Lenoir-Rhyne University (NC), Marist College (NY), Oberlin College (Ohio) and Presbyterian College (SC), have already extended offers. Nate says he would ideally like to stay in Georgia to take advantage of the Zel Miller scholarship, a merit-based scholarship with academic eligibility requirements, which only applies to schools in Georgia. Georgia Tech or Mercer would be ideal because they have good engineering programs he says, and outside of Georgia he likes Clemson University and NC State University. He says academics are more important that athletics and he wouldn’t go to a school that did not have the programs he is interested in studying.
Nate was born and raised in Pooler, Georgia. His father, Nate Sr. hails from Beaufort, SC and his mother Andrea from Darien, GA. They met as classmates at Georgia Southern University and settled in Pooler in 2001. Mr. Moon is a manager at BMC Building Materials and Mrs. Moon is an RN with the state of Georgia. Their daughter,15-year-old Ashlee, also attends SCPS where she is a cheerleader and is on the dance line for the school band. That makes game night a complete family affair for the Moons. When asked how it felt to watch his son play football, Mr. Moon says, “Normally when he makes a big play his Mom gets fired up and I get sentimental. “He says Nate has been an exemplary son. I am so thankful. It’s hard to put it into words. We are thankful we have Nate and he has done so well we thank God for him.” Mrs. Moon says she loves cheering her son on from the stands, “I get really excited for him! “She says he has been a pleasure to raise,” He has so many opportunities and he has such a level head. Nate does the right thing. And he is a student athlete. He understands that the student component is equally important, and he does his homework without ever being told or reminded, he just does it. He makes my heart smile.”
The SCPS Raiders are fired up for a fantastic season and welcome the community’s support. Come on out and enjoy a home game and keep your eye on # 8, Pooler’s own Nate Moon, a young man going places!
Follow the SCPS Raiders schedule at https://savcps.com/athletics