2015 Football: Versatile Miller excited for senior season at Stonewall

Stonewall's Nathan Miller walks onto the field during a recent practice. Rich Cooley/Daily

QUICKSBURG — Nathan Miller was in shock at how many players came out for Stonewall Jackson’s varsity football squad this season.

“It was breath-taking to say the least,” Miller said. “…[36 on the varsity] That’s the most we’ve had since my freshman year. I was shocked. I was so happy. Some new faces, some old faces just moved up. A lot of new kids just came out — and that’s good — to give it a try.”

Miller was there last year when the school had only 18 come out for the first day of practice and there were some doubts as to whether they would even field a team.

He has also been there the last three years to see losing season after losing season. With so many kids on the squad this year, Miller has good reason to feel hopeful this year can be different.

“It motivates us a lot,” Miller said of the last three years. “[The last] three years we have gone through losing skids, not really winning a lot of games. We’re kind of hungry for it. It would be nice to win a few more, just to build [the program] back up. Just make it better for future kids to come up and play in Little League and whatnot, and build the whole program up.”

Miller has played on varsity for the last four years, playing at different positions. He played at quarterback and running back in his freshman season, and only played at running back and wide receiver in his sophomore year.

Last year Miller moved to quarterback full-time. Before the season started the Generals were supposed to go to a triple-option offense, but were unable to actually use it during the season due to the low number of players on the team.

Miller said he was disappointed with that because he was looking forward to being able to run the ball on the option more. This year the Generals will be running out of the Wing-T formation, which will give Miller the chance to run some as well.

“I like being able to run with the ball and scramble,” Miller said. “If something goes down the drain I’m ready to take off.”

The Generals didn’t throw the ball much last year. Miller completed 18 of his 43 pass attempts for 148 yards.

Under new coach Jay Goode, the Generals will be looking to throw the ball more and that has Miller excited.

“It’s going to help me out a little more with accuracy and knowing my receivers for my senior year,” Miller said.

Miller has also played on the defensive side of the ball for the Generals. He plays in the secondary and Goode said he likes what he’s seen from Miller on defense.

“He breaks well on the ball,” Goode said. “Since he’s a quarterback he knows the offense well. He can see things like a pro-formation or a trips-formation. So he understands that from being a quarterback, which helps him as a defensive player as well.”

Miller, a three-sport athlete, said he is also trying to be more of a leader this season for his team.

He said he knows it will be tough leaving Stonewall Jackson at the end of the high school year.

“My last year in all sports is coming up, and it’s tough I don’t want to give it up,” Miller said. “Basically what I’m trying to do is have a good season, an enjoyable season regardless of record, regardless of score of the games. Just basically improve the Stonewall legacy [and try to restore it to] how it was back in the ’90’s when it was really good football.”

While Miller said he’s not setting too high of goals for the season, he said he believes the team can earn some respect this year.

“I just want to turn things around for the program and surprise some people,” Miller said. “I don’t think people should overlook us to be honest with you. I think we should be a tough opponent.”

Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or tkeeler@nvdaily.com