Football Preview 2017: Bruce keeping family tradition going at Millbrook

Millbrook's defensive lineman Myles Bruce stretches during a recent practice inside Millbrook's gymnasium. Rich Cooley/Daily

WINCHESTER — Myles Bruce is keeping the family tradition going.

The Millbrook senior had two older brothers who played football in the area and he looked up to both of them.

The oldest brother, T.J., was a standout at both James Wood and Millbrook and graduated from Millbrook in 2013. The middle of the three brothers, Taylor, graduated from Millbrook this past June.

“Every day it was like how can I learn from T.J. today?” Myles Bruce said. “How can I learn from Taylor? I love my brothers dearly, and they’ve brought me to where I’m at now. They gave me the skills to be here.”

T.J. Bruce was a wide receiver and defensive back at James Wood for three years, before transferring to Millbrook for his senior year.

Myles Bruce said that he went to all of T.J.’s games.

“I would come to every game sit and watch him,” Myles Bruce said. “All the other kids were jumping around, playing, talking to the girls. And I would just be sitting there watching my brother, loving him.”

While T.J. is five years older than Myles, Taylor is only a year older. Taylor Bruce played at wide receiver and defensive back.

Myles Bruce said that he and Taylor would always push each other to be better.

“I always admired Taylor,” Myles Bruce said. “There was always a little bit inside me that wanted to be better than him. I always strive to be better, make more tackles, make more blocks. I couldn’t catch because I was a lineman. He was always a better catcher than me, but I loved him very dear.”

Myles Bruce said that it’s been odd not having Taylor with him on the team this season, but he said he still talks to Taylor a lot about the team.

The last two years Myles Bruce has been a standout on the defensive line. Last year he had seven sacks and is on pace to break the school record for sacks.

Myles Bruce said it’s a nice feeling to break through the offensive line and record a sack.

Milbrook head coach Josh Haymore said Myles Bruce can be dominant on the defensive line.

“Last year he single handedly just stopped two teams,” Haymore said. “He just kept making play after play after play. He just kept going and everybody kept feeding off of him.”

This year Myles Bruce will also play on the offensive line for the first time.

Haymore said he thinks he’ll do a real good job on the offensive line.

“He’s fast. I like guys that are fast,” Haymore said. “He’s a physical kid, but he understands how to use his hands. He understands leverage.”

Haymore said that Myles Bruce is also a very good leader for the team.

“He’ll be a vocal leader when he needs to be, and when he talks the whole room listens,” Haymore said. “He’s not a guy that always talks. It’s about that when he talks it’s something important you’ll need to listen to this.”

The Pioneers went 10-2 last year, falling in the second round of the playoffs.

Myles Bruce said that he wants the team to have that kind of success again this year and make the most of his senior season.

“Last year I know we had a great season, and I was sad to see it end,” Myles Bruce said. “But it was amazing. And hopefully this year I want my (senior) year to be like (that). I always hang out with all the older players that graduated. And they always tell me, ‘it’s your time, it’s your turn. And do your best to make this year a great year’ And that’s what we’re trying to do.”