DAVENPORT — Matt Miller has always had his older brother Mike alongside him on the field.
But now the dynamic duo has become a solo act.
Mike Miller has graduated, leaving Matt to lead new-look Davenport.
“Me and my brother, we've always played together,” Mike Miller said. “It's kind of sad for me because he was a great player. Just him being out here was fun, having all of those seniors out here was fun because we grew up together. I mean, it's just sad.”
Mike's career ended last season during the Class B state championship game when he tore his ACL.
Matt remembers that, and he remembers the heartbreak of losing that game.
That's a big driving force behind this season for him — his fourth as the starting quarterback and now his biggest as the leader of a team with a new offense and almost entirely new supporting cast.
“I got a big leadership role this year,” Miller said. “I control everything: the offense, the defense, everything.
“I have to step up more because everybody looks up to me.”
There will, however, be some growing pains.
Early in two-a-days, Davenport coach John Greenfield lined up the offense in the wrong formation. Miller, though, did not correct it.
“I've been on him,” Greenfield said. “I said, ‘You've got to correct those things. Go ahead and do them.' He's getting better in that aspect.”
Miller has never been much of a vocal leader, but he's still highly respected.
Since he started his first game at quarterback his freshman season, Miller has been the one to call the coin flip. He won the first attempt and has done it ever since.
“I guess I was good luck or something,” Miller said. “I think I lost two last year; I've been pretty lucky so far.”
Sometimes luck is all someone needs when flying solo.
Endorsements for Matt Miller
John Greenfield, Davenport coach: “He's just a hard worker. He's fearless. He'll do whatever needs to be done.”
Kevin Thomas, Davenport receiver: “He's got a real leadership quality because everybody listens to him and they look up to him. Last year his brother was the same way. Everybody looked up to him and this is his little brother, so they just kind of go with family.”
Austin Hall, Davenport linebacker: “He's just an all-around good leader. He knows what he's doing; we all trust him.”
Kenny McGough, Davenport defensive coordinator: “He's kind of what is going to make us go. He'll do it with his play and he'll do it in practice. He's always full throttle, great guy. He's doing right all the time.”