It was one of the easiest calls St. John Neumann senior Kris Moody ever made.Plagued by a torn tendon in his right ring finger, Moody faced two options — undergo surgery that would completely repair the problem but sideline him for the football season or opt for two surgeries, one prior to the season and one after, and try to play.”It wasn’t that tough,” said Moody, who will suit up for his final season with the Celtics. “It’s worth it to play football.”
In late June, doctors implanted a silicon rod in Moody’s finger to stabilize the joint. He has little movement in the finger, which wouldn’t necessarily be a problem as far as football is concerned, except of course if Moody was a right-handed quarterback — which he is, at least for the moment.”It definitely affects my grip on the ball,” Moody said of his injury. “I’ve had to relearn throwing the ball.”
At 5-foot-9 and 150 pounds, Moody doesn’t have the ideal frame that coaches prefer for their quarterbacks. Still, he led the run-heavy Celtics to victories in all three of his starts last season, completing 5 of 8 passes for 65 yards and one touchdown.However, Moody’s injury, coupled with the presence of junior quarterback Jon Short, a transfer from California who is 3 inches taller and 30 pounds heavier, make Moody’s hold on the position seem to be tenuous at best.A team player, Moody said he’ll gladly concentrate on playing linebacker — he recorded 59 tackles and two fumble recoveries last season — if that’s what Celtics coach Steve Howey decides. But Howey said he knows Moody won’t surrender the signal-calling reins easily.
“He’s a very competitive player,” Howey said. “He wants to be the leader out there for us and take control of the game. He has a lot of the qualities you want in a quarterback — he’s a gutsy, tough kid.”Moody said that after a 5-5 season in 2003, Howey has the Celtics’ program headed in the right direction. For his last season at Neumann, he has one goal, no matter what position he ends up playing.
“Winning a district title,” Moody said. “We’d be the first team to ever do that and it’d be nice to be a part of that.”