Gillespie savors final season, eyes life after high school

Soccer has always been there for talented athlete but versatile senior also loves drums, dogs, Russian lit

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Dave Winter

Senior Moss Gillespie strikes a pose on team photo day Tuesday on the Mac practice field. The Knights’ next game is Friday versus Crockett at Burger Stadium. At 4-2-3, the Knights have a tenuous hold on second place in the District 17-5A standings, a single point ahead of Lockhart and two points ahead of Northeast and LASA.

Thomas Melina Raab, staff reporter

Moss Gillespie has been a cornerstone of the McCallum soccer team almost since the moment he arrived on campus. In his final year on the varsity squad, even a global pandemic couldn’t stop him from finishing out his high school soccer career strong.

A senior, Gillespie is playing out his final season playing soccer at McCallum. This is his third year on varsity, only having not played on the top team in his freshman year. He made the all-district team last year.

Gillespie has been playing soccer his whole life. When he was younger, his parents entered him in toddler league soccer, and he hasn’t put the ball down since. Almost the whole time he’s been playing, he’s done so with the other boys on the team he plays for now.

Senior Moss Gillespie enjoyed an electric start to his senior season. In the season opener at Liberty Hill on Jan. 15, the Knights took a 1-0 lead when Silvio Guzman hit a cross into the box where Felipe Perez played it back for a Gillespie header and goal only five minutes into the 2021 season. Photo by Jonathan Orenstein.

“Each time we play you can feel the chemistry this team has. It gets better every year, so I’m excited for this season.”

Being a soccer player isn’t the only thing that makes Gillespie’s life interesting. In his free time, he likes to play the drums and spend time with his dogs. He’s also a book nerd, especially into Russian literature.

COVID has made out of state recruitment very hard, especially since I want to play in the Northeast. I have a few schools I’m looking at, but I’ll have to go up there to try out for them.”

— senior Moss Gillespie

“The authors are almost always insane, which makes the books insane, which I find very interesting,” Gillespie said.

He’s also a top student, even earning Academic All-District recognition both in his sophomore and junior years for his work on and off the field.

COVID heavily affected high school sports. It was no different for soccer.

Gillespie was able to have a pretty successful club season in the fall, so his expectation was that AISD would be able to pull off some sort of a season. Thankfully, that was able to happen. Despite being able to have a soccer season, Gillespie still felt like he missed out.

“COVID took a lot of time from us, especially since we’re all young and these are supposed to be some of the more fun years of high school,” he said. “I regret a lot of the stuff I didn’t do before COVID more so than the stuff I did do.”

He offered some words of advice to others who might be going through the same thing.

“If you are hesitant on trying a new sport, playing in a big game for your team, or whatever it might be for you, definitely try it out. You never know when you might lose time again.”

After high school, Gillespie wants to go off to college at Georgetown University, where he plans to study either international relations or environmental science. In a dream world, he would be the superstar of the soccer team there, but their No. 2 ranking in the NCAA D1 rankings makes that goal a pretty tall order.

Gillespie shields a Northeast Raider from the ball to maintain possession during the Knights’ 2-1 loss on the morning of Jan. 30 at the cozy confines of Noack #1. After the Raiders scored first, the Knights answered with a great team goal finished off by Luis Auyero to level the score going into half. The Raiders tucked away a fast break to regain the lead, 2-1. For the final 10 minutes of the game the Knights were all offense trying to tie the game, but to no avail with Seth Parsegian hitting the crossbar off a header that nearly was the equalizer. Photo by Lily Dashner.

Even though he is heavily considering going to Georgetown next year, college soccer still isn’t out of the question. He already has a few coaches he’s talking to, but the pandemic has made the recruitment process extremely difficult.

“I hopefully want to play in college, but COVID has made out of state recruitment very hard, especially since I want to play in the Northeast. I have a few schools I’m looking at, but I’ll have to go up there to try out for them.”

Before all that happens though, Gillespie gets one last season. There was doubt it would even happen, but in the end, he will get one final season of high school soccer to play with his lifelong teammates. He got off to a hot start, scoring the team’s first and only goal in the team’s season opener. As to how the rest of his one last run will go, only time will tell.