“He’s a great kid,” says Sepeta, in his 17th year coaching at Bishop’s, but, “You can’t be soft and be a good defender. He has a tough side to him. He’s not afraid to get in there.”
The sophomore, who is big already at 6-feet-3-inches-tall, 220 pounds, and growing bigger, immediately moved into the starting lineup last year as a ninth-grader and did well. “At Bishop’s, we’re a small school,” says Sepeta, “so it’s not unusual for an underclassman to be starting. Charlie stepped in and was effective.”
“He has matured on and off the field this year,” continues his coach. “His play this year has gone beyond the typical underclassman.”
Mossy, amiable and easily approachable, has a close bond with Haley, who he plays on the offensive and defensive line with on Coach Joel Allen’s Coastal League champion football team. Wearing uniform number 60 to Haley’s 55, Charlie says, “I played next to Dom on every play” through the Knights’ 9-1 season that took them to the CIF Division III title game.
The way Mossy explains it, he and others kind of coaxed Haley into playing on the lacrosse team, in exchange for teaming up with him on the football team. “It’s some convincing,” he chuckles. “We’re like, ‘Hey, you’re playing [lacrosse].’ It’s not even convincing, it’s, ‘You’re playing.’”
Mossy, 16, who enrolled at the private school as a freshman, thrives on the competitive and physical nature of lacrosse. He acknowledges the advantage of being the “hunter” as a defender in pursuit of the “hunted,” but he insists offensive opponents even things out when they get a chance. “You’ve been pounding on them, so they do that back to you,” he says. Boys lacrosse is a very different sport from girls lacrosse: boys’ rules allow defensive players to use their stick repeatedly on opponents’ padded shoulders and helmeted heads, theoretically “going for the ball,” while girls are whistled when their stick approaches attackers’ head or neck areas.
“I like the long stick” he gets to use as a long-stick defender, an exclusive position, admits Mossy. He follows in a line of siblings who played lacrosse: Travis, who was an offensive midfielder; John, a former goalie; and Blake. John and Blake played for Bishop’s rival Santa Fe Christian.
Danny Mitchell, the Knights’ offensive coordinator in football, positively gushes over Mossy’s skills on both sides of the ball. He led the team in 2017 in sacks on the defensive side, with five. He was second in TFL’s (tackles for a loss) behind his close friend Haley. He had 31 total tackles. The offense averaged 53 points a game, leading to nine straight wins, and the left guard was an unheralded part of that.
Says Mitchell, who teaches sixth-grade physical education and ninth-grade health, “As a freshman, his first start was the state championship game. He was a wide receiver and had scored a touchdown. We were short (on the line) and put him on the offensive line, and he played super well in the state championship game” (though Bishop’s lost the contest, after 14 straight wins in 2016).
“He’s such a good athlete. He played himself onto the line,” says the offensive coordinator.