Media Information Director
DPS Office of Athletics
As the quarterback, Keith Moore triggers an arsenal of talent for Cass Tech High’s unbeaten football team.
As a setter, Sasha Phiffer leads Denby High’s volleyball team in assists and service points.
As outstanding scholar-athletes, Moore and Phiffer are the Detroit Public School League’s Proud Strong Learners of the Week.
Last Saturday, the 6-2, 175-pound senior co-captain helped guide Cass Tech to a 41-7 victory against Crockett for the PSL “A” Division city title. Moore completed 5-for-7 passes for 98 yards and two touchdowns as the Technicians completed their school’s first 9-0 regular season since 1994.
“I’m real happy that this team is going down in history at Cass Tech,” said Moore, who also had 48 yards rushing on three carries in the PSL title game. “Right now we’re at the halfway point of our season. Our main goal is winning the state championship. The other half was going 9-0 and winning the city.”
The Technicians are one of the top teams entering the Michigan High School Athletic Association playoffs. They will begin their bid for the Division I state title Friday at 5 p.m. as host to PSL rival Southeastern.
“There’s a lot of competition in our league,” Moore said.”Players are talented and they work hard. Still, a lot of people overlook the PSL because we’re usually knocking each other out of the state playoffs. But we’ve got a very talented and fast team that I think has a good chance to win it all.”
The Technicians have been described as a track team on turf. Several of their top players compete in track and field, including Moore, a state champion in the 400 meter dash.
“Because of his talents, he adds a lot of complexity to the game as quarterback,” Cass Tech coach Thomas Wilcher said. “He has a great arm and a lot of speed, added to the fact he’s very disciplined and a hard worker. He’s a very smart and coachable young man.”
A student with a 3.3 grade point average, Moore has his priorities in order as he eyes a college football career. “I’m focusing on keeping my grades up and getting more (scholarship) offers from colleges,” he said. “I’m doing everything I can to make sure I make it to that next level. Right now, Howard and Toledo are showing interest. But as soon as I get my highlight tape together, hopefully I’ll have more offers coming in. I know my abilities. I’ve just got to keep working hard.”
Phiffer, a 5-6 senior, is also looking toward college. She’s not certain if she’ll play sports beyond high school but is happy with what her team has achieved thus far, finishing the regular season as one of the PSL’s top four teams.
“I’m proud about making the All-City team, I’m proud about how far this team has come, and I’m proud about my leadership,” she said. “I’m also proud about this award. It means everything. I’m super happy.”
Phiffer, a 3.3 GPA student, averaged eight points a game last year as the starting shooting guard for Denby’s girls’ basketball team. With hoops season just around the corner, Phiffer is getting ready for basketball but hoping to extend the Tars’ volleyball season in the state tournament.
“I enjoy basketball the most, but volleyball gets me ready for basketball,” she said. “It’s good conditioning.”‘
Denby volleyball coach Tyese Parnell said Phiffer’s work ethic in the classroom and in athletics makes her a good role model for her teammates for follow.
“She’s the leader in assists and service points and means everything to this team,” Parnell said. “We’ve been together since she was in the seventh grade and we have a really good relationship. Being a former athlete myself, I made her play volleyball to do something different because I know how important it is to play more than one sport. It would be a shame to waste the talent she has.”
Phiffer’s talents on the volleyball court flourished this season, despite the fact she hadn’t played since her freshman year.
“I played in the ninth grade and it was fun, so I decided to play it again this year,” she said. “I have all the qualities a good setter needs – running, a lot of energy and knowing who to set it to. I’m good at it.”