Claremore Daily Progress

February 13, 2014

‘Faith in the Game’

Moniz follows ‘God’s Playbook’ to NEO

Tim Ritter
Sports Editor

SEQUOYAH — Claremore Sequoyah football standout Daniel Moniz believes in the power of prayer.

Even, when it comes to making one of his toughest decisions on furthering his football career.

Endless hours of searching scripture through his Bible and having those heart-to-heart talks with his faithful mother, Tanya, helped Moniz find comfort that he was making the right decision.

Last Thursday, Claremore Sequoyah’s starting quarterback/free safety — Moniz — signed to play junior college football for Northeastern Oklahoma A&M in Miami.

According to Moniz, “it was a really tough decision, because I had really wanted to go to Oklahoma Baptist.”

Moniz went on a visit to NEO with no intentions that Miami would become his home away from home for the next two years.

“I just wanted to go check it out, and it seemed like the right thing to do at the time,” Moniz said on seeing NEO.

NEO provided Moniz with a close-to-home option that would allow his family and friends to come watch him play, and their history of sending players to the next level was also enticing.

Also, being able to go to NEO, Moniz added that he could come home to First Baptist Church in Claremore, where he is very involved in the youth ministry.

Moniz, who has faced adversity with two knee injuries and also moving to Sequoyah from Tulsa Union, knows that God’s timing is always perfect.

“Things happen for a reason, whether we know at the time why or why not,” Moniz said. “God definitely helped make a stressful decision so much easier through prayer and scripture.”

In Proverbs 3:5-6, scripture says to ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding...’

Moniz took that too heart, as well as Jeremiah 29:11 ... ‘For I knows the plan for you...’ and believes that his decision will only benefit his life in more ways than just football.

“I see going to NEO as a mission, not only to play football, but also lead by Christ’s example,” Moniz said.

Moniz’s faith in God is solid as a rock, and a bond that he shares with the most important lady in his life — his mother, Tanya.

“I couldn’t ask for a better Christian role model than my mom,” Moniz said. “She’s the example that I like to follow, and has always steered me in the right direction.”

Tanya, who has only missed one football game in her son’s career — due to having surgery, has been Moniz’s support system and shoulder to lean on during those adverse times.

“Her (Tanya) support is unreal,” Moniz said. “She’s always there for not only me, but my sister, Lynsey. She never misses a game.”

On wings of an Eagle, Moniz returned to his startining role as Sequoyah’s quarterback six weeks into the season following his second knee injury.

It was there that Moniz’s leadership and faith in the game took over.

Though he was a powerful presence on the sideline, encouraging quarterbacks McKaine Foster and Benny Sandecki, Moniz missed being in the game competing.

He missed having the ball in his hands, and being in charge.

Most of all, Moniz missed glorifying God and leading the team to victory.

“It was hard not being able to play,” Moniz said in a previous interview. “But, God had a different plan for me.”

A plan that led Moniz to Miami instead of Shawnee.