DETROIT – Dante Moore entered Detroit King High School with a bright future predicted and an offer from Michigan.
He ended his high school career as a two-time champion.
After leading King to a Division 3 state title over DeWitt last season, he led a rout of Muskegon his senior season to repeat.
Moore was named The Associated Press Player of the Year for Division 3-4 by a panel of sportswriters from across the state of Michigan. He finished his senior year completing 68% of his passes for 2,392 yards and 32 TDs with just three passes intercepted.
Moore, who will play next year at Oregon, was at his best in the state title game. He was 21 of 26 passes for 275 yards and four touchdowns without an interception.
“I’m really proud of Dante with how much he’s grown as a leader,” King coach Tyrone Spencer said. “I’m also proud of him, too, because there was a lot of pressure on him for being rated as the No. 1 player in the nation by Sports Illustrated, and then after you’ve won a state championship, just seems like there was a lot of pressure on him and he handled it well. I’m just happy that we were able as a group, as a team, to get him a state championship on the way out.”
Moore had to be a leader after King lost its top four receivers to graduation from last year’s state title team.
Moore was joined on the first team by his King teammates, running back Sterling Anderson, receiver Jameel Croft and linemen Kenny Merrieweather.
Croft, who will play next year at Kansas as a cornerback, played both ways this season with Moore needing a go-to receiver. He had eight interceptions, returning five for TDs, one shy of the single-season state record.
Jake DeHaan of Grand Rapids South Christian joined Moore as first-team quarterbacks. Parker Holman of Zeeland West, Darius Taylor of Walled Lake Western and Paschal Jolman of Fruitport joined Anderson at running back. Bryce Kurncz of DeWitt, Nick Marsh of River Rouge and Drew Hickmott of Ortonville Brandon joining Croft are the All-State receivers.
Aaron Holstege of Allendale, Freeland’s Gabe Blanchard, Andrew Dennis of Mount Pleasant, John Burke of Sault Ste. Marie, Matthew Nehf of DeWitt, Dylan Senda of Dearborn Divine Child, Eryx Daugherty of Birmingham Brother Rice joined Merrieweather as first-team linemen.
Pete Closner of Marquette, Kaleb Parrish of Mason, Brady Pretzlaf of Gaylord and Bryce Eliuk of Linden were first-team linebackers and Skyler Geurink of Zeeland West, Markell Gilford of River Rouge, Zarek Zelinski of Waterford Kettering and CJ Ivy III of Muskegon were All-State defensive backs.
Scooter Polk of Mountt Pleasant was first-team specialist; Brandon Soltis of DeWitt was first team kicker and Christopher Bowman of Waterford Kettering was first team punter.
Spencer was Coach of the Year after guiding King to its fifth state title in the last eight years, working as defensive coordinator when King won the Division 2 championship in 2015, then winning in 2016, 2018, 2021 and this season as head coach.