Sam Moore announces his retirement at Sulphur
Last updated 2/17/2023 at 12:45pm
A player and coach for local high school baseball teams will be stepping down at the end of this season. Even then he may not be hanging up his cleats permanently.
Sam Moore began his love of baseball when he played for the West Orange Stark Mustangs. Moore lettered in both baseball and football before he graduated from West Orange Stark High School in 1982.
The love of coaching for Moore was instilled in him by his two high school coaching mentors. "I played for Coach Dan Hooks and I played for Coach Ronnie Anderson so that was a lot of my background experience and how I learned to coach from them," Moore expressed.
After his playing days at West Orange Stark, Moore went to college in Ruston, Louisiana at Louisiana Tech. Sam played baseball all four years he was with the Bulldogs.
Upon graduation from Louisiana Tech, Moore began his coaching career in Louisiana for a four years before coming to Texas. Moore said, "I ventured back to my home town and coached at Little Cypress Mauriceville, coached at West Orange Stark, and coached five years here at Bridge City."
The time in Bridge City which he called a true baseball school was special for Moore when he helped coach the Cardinals. "Some of my best times were in Bridge City in the earlier two thousands. We had some great players and had some great teams that made the playoffs every year. We went three or four rounds deep and went to the regional final twice," Moore recalled.
The last seven years for Moore have been occupied as the baseball coach of the Sulphur Golden Tors in neighboring Louisiana. Moore and his Golden Tors scrimmaged the Cardinals at Bridge City the second week of February.
Moore's cousin Chad Landry is the head coach of the Bridge City Cardinals baseball program now. Moore praised, "Chad does a terrific job with their program so that's why I always like to scrimmage his team because they're going to be fundamentally sound and we'll get a lot of work out of this scrimmage."
Sulphur already had a good baseball program when Moore inherited it seven years ago. "We instilled some new ideas. Our first year at the helm we ended up going and playing for the state championship. We had a great bunch in 2017. We made the playoffs in 2018. The Covid year was probably one of our better teams, we had five college arms that year. We felt like that was a year we had a chance to win the state championship," Moore informed.
Sulphur was resurgent last season but the players were left with a bad taste in their mouths. The Golden Tors made it to the semi-finals of the Louisiana state baseball playoffs in 2022 and had a five-run lead with six outs to go but ended up losing the game keeping them from making it to the championship game.
More is expected this year from the Golden Tors. Moore only lost two starters from that team and the returnees are determined this year to go further than they did previously. Moore pointed out, "We've got the bulk of our squad back from last year, and they're hungry. They came back this year really committed, have really worked hard, and have been very coachable."
Fifteen players returned this season from that strong team at Sulphur last year. Topping the list of returning starters for the Golden Tors is Moore's number one pitcher left-hander Jake Brown who has already signed to play college baseball with Louisiana State University.
Brown got the start on the mound for Sulphur in the scrimmage with Bridge City. Jake was dominate shutting out the Cardinals for four innings yielding just one hit. He can swing the bat pretty well too going three for three with a two-run homerun during the scrimmage.
Several other letterman make the Golden Tors one of the favorites to win the state championship in Louisiana this year. Cooper DeVall plays catcher, is used as a designated hitter, and has signed with McNeese State University. A catcher and pitcher Luke Benoit will play at the University of Texas at Tyler.
Two other Golden Tors have signed to play college baseball next season. First baseman Dillon Bird is going to Southeastern Louisiana to play and Moore's shortstop Gage Trahan will also be going to McNeese in nearby Lake Charles.
Those are just the tip of the iceberg for the Golden Tors. "I've got some others that have the potential to sign that are really good. They actually all get along, they play together real good, they all have a mission to play at the next level, and that really helps our program out a lot because you want hungry players since the hungrier they are the harder they work. These guys work extremely hard. We ask a lot out of them, but they give us a lot as well," Moore described.
The attitude of his ball players and their athletic ability has Coach Moore excited for the potential of a state championship at Sulphur. Moore elaborated, "These guys' attitude is great and we've got some athletes in our program."
Some coaches and teams do not like to talk about winning a championship fearing it may jinx them, but Moore and his Tors do not feel that way. "We talk about the state championship because that's a goal for us. Everyone senses the expectations, but I want these kids to start believing in it, tasting it, and of course anything short of a state championship will probably be a disappointment for us this year. There are about four or five, maybe six other teams just as well who have the same opportunity and the same drive so they will have a lot to say if we win a state championship. Definitely, our forecast and our prediction is we want to be the last man standing. We've been so close, and we feel like we have a great opportunity with this bunch and we look forward to the challenge," Moore explained.
Further motivation for the Sulphur Golden Tors this year is to win one for the skipper as Coach Moore announced to his players a few days ago that he will be retiring at the end of this year. Moore stated, "I will venture into a different direction for next year. I see myself coaching in Texas at the end of my career because I still need to come back and get some retirement years in Texas. I have enough years in Louisiana to retire so we will cross that bridge this year and we will see where it takes us after that."
The chances of local fans seeing Sam Moore coaching one of the high school baseball teams in Orange County again are very good. "I definitely see that in the future. I have been a head coach, I would love to come back and be an assistant coach. This is kind of the last hurrah in Sulphur and hopefully we can go out a winner," Moore concluded.