Local soccer player not slowed by cerebral palsy
Daily Press - 3/8/2020
Mar. 7--APPLE VALLEY -- Donnie Moore's passion for soccer is much bigger than the cerebral palsy that has tried, unsuccessfully, to sideline him since birth.
An Apple Valley native, who started playing soccer when he was 8 years old, Moore, now 16, plays for Desert Communities Soccer Club.
Recently, he was chosen by CP Soccer to play in Europe.
"We heard about CP Soccer and sent them a video of Donnie playing soccer," said Moore's mother, Jennifer Womack. "After a while, they contacted us and flew Donnie out to Georgia for a tryout."
Founded in 2017, CP Soccer is a nationwide soccer league for kids affected by cerebral palsy, stroke or traumatic brain injury. They host soccer camps and events for players from around the world.
"Donnie was selected to play for CP's national club team during the upcoming World Club Championship in Barcelona, Spain in mid-June," said Ashley Hammond, a director with CP Soccer. "Before Barcelona, he'll play in Scotland in early June."
The owner/president of Sports Domain Academy, Hammond told the Daily Press that Moore is a "determined, fierce and super-fast competitor" with a "great attitude and bright future in soccer."
Hammond said CP Soccer was also created to support young players and help them stay in the game since most drop out by age 10 due to the high level of competition.
"Because of his competitiveness, Donnie didn't quit playing soccer when he was younger," Hammond said. "His ability to stay focused and in the game has made him stronger. He actually competes with able-bodied players and has a great shot at making our national club team."
Moore, who attends Granite Hills High School in Apple Valley, told the Daily Press on Friday he's excited about the opportunity to play in Europe.
"It's going to be a great trip, but traveling overseas for the first time is going to be kind of scary," said Moore, who trains two times a week with his club team and does extensive exercise routines three times a week.
Two years after Moore started playing, the then 10 year old took time off for medical reasons, but came back and played recreational soccer from 12 to 14. He then proceeded to make all-star and club teams, Womack said.
Moore's cerebral palsy, as well as a cyst in the back left side of his brain, affect the right side of his body. He often wears a stretching brace on his arm and leg, his mother said.
"Since he was little, Donnie has never been slowed by his cerebral palsy," Womack said. "He's always succeeded by overcompensating his actions with his left side. Nothing slows him down."
Every three months, Moore participates in occupational therapy in Hesperia, according to Womack, who said her son would rather use soccer as physical therapy because it's fun.
Womack said her family has raised funds for Moore's trip except for the $1,500 round-trip airfare.
"Watching Donnie fly off to Europe without me is going to be hard on me," Womack said. "He was fine when he flew to New Jersey and Georgia to play soccer, and I know he'll be fine going to Europe."
For more information on CP Soccer, visit www.CPSoccer.us.
Rene Ray De La Cruz may be reached at 760-951-6227, RDeLaCruz@VVDailyPress.com, Twitter @DP_ReneDeLaCruz.
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