If you watch Austin High School’s quarterback Tre Larsen this season, the first thing you will notice is he is a tall thin kid, about 6-foot 3-inches and 180.
You will notice he has a strong arm and seems to have a good grasp of the game. You will notice that he has a laid-back demeanor, nothing seems to upset him. You will notice that his teammates look to him as their leader. And if you are old enough, he just might remind you of his grandfather, Warren Moon.
“There are a lot of similarities between us. Particularly in demeanor. Tre is a very laid-back young man, kind of like me. Neither of us are very boisterous or loud. But I believe people listened when I talked,” Moon said. “He has a really strong arm. He is a decent athlete. He’s not an exceptional athlete just as I wasn’t an exceptional athlete. I was just good enough to play quarterback.”
Moon was just good enough to throw for 49,325 yards and 291 touchdowns, and just good enough to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006.
Larsen wasn’t always a quarterback.
“When I was in little league, I played defensive end. I knew I could get up the field and tackle someone. After two years as a defensive end, I started throwing the football and I liked to do that better than tackling someone. It was just fun to throw the ball and you don’t get hit as much. Plus, I could watch my grandpa throwing the ball on the television replays. He was always my inspiration,” Larsen said.
Moon hopes to see as many games as he can this year.
“I have seen Tre play and practice quite a few times. I don’t get to see him play as much as I would like as I work games on the weekends up here in Seattle. This year I will try to see as many games as possible since it is his last year in high school,” Moon said. “I think the great thing about Tre is his work ethic. He is a very hard worker. I have given him a lot of pointers, but I talk to him more about the mentality of a quarterback.”
“Grandpa has always told me to just be the leader. Just don’t let anything affect how you are going to play the game. He always says it’s just a game, play as hard as you can and play to win. If something goes bad, you have to just shake it off,” Larsen said. “At the 6A level, everyone is good. You have to outsmart your opponent. The smarter team will always win. He has given me a lot of tips, but the one tip I always follow is to have a level head. Your team is going to look to you for leadership particularly when something goes bad. If the quarterback is down what is the rest of the team going to do. I just have to be the person that is going to bring the team up. It’s your mental IQ that will make you a winner. That’s what I try to do – beat the opponent mentally. Just outsmart them.”
Both Moon and Larsen began starting in their junior years.
“I think Tre has Division 1 ability. His biggest issue is his size. He is 6-3 but only weighs about 180 pounds. We are trying to put more weight on him, but other than that, I think he can play at the Division 1 level. He will definitely be Division 1 material by next year,” Moon said. “I was about the same size as Tre in high school but my first year in college I went up to 205 pounds.”
Moon has six grandchildren, four boys and two girls.
“I encourage all my grandkids to participate in athletes because it teaches you so much about life and competitiveness,” Moon said.
Moon is happy Larsen chose to play football.
“Football is a tough sport. It pushes you and you find out a lot about yourself.
It teaches you lessons about adversity and overcoming adversity. You need to take the lessons you learn in football and apply them to your life,” Moon said.
Moon still has memories of his Oiler days.
“In the 1980s, we had some tough seasons, but in 1987 we made the playoffs and beat Seattle in overtime in the playoffs in the Astrodome. We had some up and down years before we were able to get to the playoffs so that has always been a great memory,” Moon said. “Of course, blowing a big lead in Buffalo is a bad memory. I thought that team could make it to the Super Bowl.”