March 15, 2006 - When Dan Moore walks the halls of Mountain View High School, no one knocks the books from his hand, places "kick me" signs on his back or even dares look at him cross.

It's probably tough enough just to steer clear of his hulking path.

While the rest of the Northwest turns its attention toward baseball and softball, Moore is busy preparing for the only season he knows, football. And although his sport of choice is still five months away, the sophomore is finding ways to rewrite the Mountain View record books; but not on the gridiron, in the weight room.

The latest mark to succumb to Moore was the school's squat record of 550 pounds.

"I got stuck halfway through and then I put my head to the ceiling and just powered through it," explains Moore about his record setting squat, of which he warmed up for by squatting 500 pounds.

The record is the second to fall to Moore who also holds the mark for bench press at 375 pounds.

Moore put strength on display March 11 in California at the East L.A. Nike Combine, where, as a sophomore, he went up against a field consisting primarily of juniors and seniors. The Mountain Lion tailback was nervous in the days leading up to the event, but at the same time, carried a quiet confidence.

"This last weekend they just posted the stats for the last Nike Combine and I looked them up and the top running back there I beat him in everything," said Moore.

Turns out Moore had nothing to fret at the combine held on the campus of East Los Angeles College. The sophomore accumulated a 10th best overall score out of 750 competitors in the 40-yard dash (4.75 seconds), the 20-yard shuttle (4.41 seconds), bench press (32 reps of 185 pounds) and vertical jump (27.3 inches).

The prospect of having Moore around for another two years is one that appeals to Mountain View head coach Wayne Jones.

"He's as strong right now as a lot of running backs coming out of college," said Jones, a veteran of 19-seasons at the Marana high school.

Moore's off-season goals, laid out by Jones and the coaching staff, are simple: build strength and speed, speed and more speed, said Mountain View defensive line coach Andy Litten, who overseas the weight room.

By the end of his sophomore season, one which saw him gain 487-yards and 7 touchdowns in 10 games, Moore was clocking in with 4.7 second speed in the 40-yard dash. Jones would like to see Moore get quicker and not rely so much on his physicality to gain yards next season.

"We're trying to get him understand that he can avoid contact," said Jones. "He doesn't have to run over people all the time."

Aside from taking the ball out of the backfield, Moore fielded kick-offs and punts, amassing 451 yards in returns - his longest was a 91-yard scamper against Salpointe Catholic High School.

It was in fifth grade when Moore got his first taste of his body's potential. It started with pushups and sit-ups before graduating to free weights as he saw vast improvements in his physique.

Since then, when not playing football or experimenting with baseball and wrestling, Moore has tested his mettle in USA Power Lifting tournaments. As a freshman, he out-lifted western regional competition with a 500-pound squat, 350-pound bench press and a 505-pound dead lift.

When not handling the football, the sophomore is carrying a GPA above 3.0. He knows that in the Moore household, poor grades equals no playing time. The sophomore is the one who initiated his entry into the Nike combine as well, petitioning Jones to write him a letter of recommendation to attend the event usually reserved for upperclassmen.

Between his freshman and sophomore years, he voluntarily attended summer school. The move allowed him to take two weight lifting classes a day as a sophomore.

For all the time he spends in the weight room, his home away from home, sometimes the sophomore needs to be curtailed.

"You have to keep him out of the weight room sometimes," said Jones. "Sometimes you can overdo it."

Next year, Moore will split time with Jared Hiller in the backfield. Hiller, a junior carbon copy of Moore, led the team in rushing in 2005 with 876 yards and 10 touchdowns. Hiller finished the season third in the Class 5A Southern in rushing, while Moore was eighth overall.

The backfield duo will combine to be one of the strongest in the state when football resumes in August. Hiller holds the school record in the power clean and the dead lift with a 575-pound hoist.

In an age where Barry Bonds dominates the headlines, Moore is adamant about not taking chances with his body.

"If I took steroids I'd be looking a lot bigger than I am," said Moore, who grew up idolizing Tampa Bay Buccaneer fullback Mike Alstott. "I lift a lot so they think I'm on steroids but there are tons of kids here that lift as much as me and are just as good as me and they say the same thing to them. It's not true."

If Mountain View can develop a solid offensive line, there is no limit to the damage a split back offense with the strength and speed of Moore and Hiller could do to opponents. It's even plausible that under the right conditions Moore could challenge the school records set by Kevin Schmidtke. Between 1991 and 1993 Schmidtke put up 85 touchdowns and rushed for 5,440 yards.

Before Moore gets a shot at taking down those records, there's a good chance that more weight lifting records will have fallen.

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