Oak Park and River Forest High School linebacker Jahmari Moore has a team-high 36 tackles plus 2.5 sacks, six tackles for loss, two pass breakups, two forced fumbles and a touchdown, interception and fumble recovery this season. He’s a Division I recruit and arguably the best defensive player in the West Suburban Conference Silver Division.

What’s been most impressive about the 6-foot-3, 210-pound senior is how he’s selflessly led a dominant defense that’s allowing 10 points per game and 2.6 yards per rushing attempt.

Moore has graciously agreed to check in with The Huddle on a weekly basis to talk Huskie football via a series of journal entries the rest of the season.

Jahmari Moore, OPRF senior linebacker (as told to Marty Farmer)

Journal entry: Oct. 8

Hey Huskie fans, what’s up? As you probably already know, we’re playing Glenbard West at home on Friday night (7:30 p.m.).

Obviously, we are aware that it’s big game and they are a very good team. I think what’s different this year perhaps compared to past years is that we aren’t trying to get too hyped up for this game. As a team, I think we want to get better more than we want to win. Of course, we want to win every game but we feel like the only way we can win is if we get better. Everything works together.

All the games we have left on the schedule are going to be tough so we’re trying not to make any opponent better than they are. We’re just focused on playing to the best of our ability. I think it’s important we get better as a team and individually through discipline and focus.

That’s definitely been our approach in practice this week. I don’t think we don’t need to do anything out of the ordinary. We don’t have to become superhumans or anything. The focus has been on picking up our intensity and discipline, keeping our composure, playing our game come Friday night, and having fun while we are doing all of these things.

I think our Week 6 opponent (York) was a big wake up call. We wish we could have scored more points and pitched a shutout but neither of those happened. We need to pick it up because a performance like that isn’t going to get it done in the playoffs, let alone the during the rest of the regular season. It just goes to show that anything can happen in our conference which is very tough. All the teams in our league play hard and have confidence. We only beat York by two touchdowns.

I truly believe if we play our best against Glenbard West we will win the game, but if we are not at our best both mentally and physically, we could lose. That applies to any opponent we play. Again, it’s not about winning as much as it is maximizing our ability.

All week I think we have been trying to take it one step, one day at a time. Friday’s game isn’t the state championship game. I understand how important this game is for everybody and how big the stakes are, but when you really think about it, none of that really matters. My focus is on the fundamentals of the game and doing my job rather than the magnitude of this matchup. Our mindset hasn’t changed at all week-to-week. As the season goes along and you play different teams it can be hard at times, but that’s our mentality no matter which opponent gets off the bus.

I’m really excited about our team and how everybody has bought into what we are trying to do. I’ve said all season that we need to be accountable for each other and we’ve done that. Against York, our starting quarterback, Jeremy (Hunt) was injured. We have all supported Jeremy and he’s doing ok. He has a positive attidue. Keegan Smith is our other quarterback and he’s ready to step up and play well. Honestly, I’m not concerned about the quarterback situation at all because I know both Jeremy and Keegan are very talented.

I hope all of you come out and support us Friday night because we really feed off the energy of our home crowd. We need you guys!

I’m very thankful to play football and be in the position I am in right now. The other day at practice we had this great moment when the lights went out and we just kept practicing through. Everybody had such a high sense of purpose and intensity. Everyone was totally locked in. That was a really cool moment and something I’ll remember about this season.

There’s a lot going on in my life right now with my studies, football, the recruiting process and just being a high school senior, but I’m trying to soak it all in and enjoy the process. My parents, teachers and coaches have been very helpful. Former (OPRF) football players come back and talk about how much they miss it. I know I’ll feel the same way when I graduate. Until then, we still want to do something special this season.

See you Friday night and thanks for all the love and support. Go Huskies!



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The Illinois Press Association recently honored Marty with the 1st & 2nd Place Awards for Best Sports Feature for his article He's in an Oak Park state of mind: Former OPRF star Iman Shumpert returns...

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