Adjustments and adaptation has been the key to success for Lakewood senior defensive lineman Rahkeen Moore.
“One situation may not work for you, and you have to have a backup plan,” Moore said. “You need different tools in your tool box.”
Moore came to Lakewood from Oakland where he played football, basketball and baseball. He chose to stick with football because the contact came so naturally and his friends were very influential.
“He’s a next level talent,” Lakewood coach Justin Utupo said of Moore. “We can really count on him out here.
We caught up to talk with Moore this week about how he’s set himself up for this pivotal senior year of football.
Question: How did you fall in love with football?
Answer: My dad would always take me to Raiders games when I was growing up. That was a great experience and it made me want to do something like that one day. My favorite player was Kahlil Mack. I always loved watching him play and his techniques, like the way he asserted dominance on the field and getting off the ball.
Q: Do you still root for the Raiders even though they moved to Las Vegas?
A: Yeah, I’m still loyal.
Q: Was it difficult to move to Lakewood right when you started high school?
A: Yeah, it was kind of hard because of the different environment. I came from a much smaller school so everything and everyone was bigger. It was challenging to adapt, but making new friends like Montrell Mingo, Noah Mallon and Takim Raye-Brown.
Q: What was your first impression of the Lakewood football program?
A: We had guys on the team like Donald Julian and Macc Manu who put in work at an extreme level. I looked up to that, it made me want to be more like them.
Q: How did you develop your style on the field?
A: I’m a little shifty in terms of the moves I have crafted. And strong. I look up to Aaron Donald and the physicality he plays with.
Q: What about being a leader on the defensive line?
A: I want to be more of a leader this season and get guys going in the right direction. I want to be a leader who steps in when you see a guy headed down the wrong path. You have to get them back on track to contribute to the team.
Q: What do you like about the coaching staff at Lakewood?
A: I like the coaching staff and the atmosphere they create for us. They’re not just our coaches, they’re positive role models in our life. They’re there for us no matter what. You can go to them with anything. It’s like a family.
Q: Do you have a favorite subject in school or class you’re taking?
A: My favorite subject is math, probably algebra. I like there’s multiple ways to solve a problem and I like dealing with numbers.
Q: What do you like to do in your free time off the field?
A: I like playing video games like Madden or NBA 2K. When I came to Lakewood my new friends and I played Madden a lot and I think it brought us closer together.
Q: Do you have a favorite actor or actress?
A: The Rock. I watched a documentary about him about a year ago about how he was struggling and how he got to WWE. Then he transitioned into acting and that was inspiring. I also like his movies.
Q: What is the key to success for Lakewood football this year?
A: Just outworking other teams, leaving it all out on the field and not taking any plays off.