MOORE — A bad shoulder injury last spring had Jerry Miller thinking he might be done with baseball.
Through the fall as his injured rotator cuff healed, he turned his focus to golf, a sport the Moore senior always loved.
Yet when Miller's shoulder got better, his father — a former minor league baseball player — convinced him to test it out in a bullpen session, and it felt great.
So Miller was faced with a question: golf or baseball?
He settled on both.
“The coaches are going to work with me so that I know when I'm needed for each sport,” Miller said. “Regionals and state tournaments are on different days, so they don't conflict at all, and that way, I'll be able to be a part of both.”
Miller and his coaches have already looked over the schedules to see when there are conflicts. And he only pitches for the baseball team, so he isn't needed every day.
With concurrent enrollment in two college courses, Miller only has one high school class, leaving the bulk of the day on Monday, Wednesday and Friday open to practice golf.
“I have from about 9:30-2 in the afternoon to go to the course on those days,” he said. “If we don't have qualifying or something else for golf, I can go to baseball practice from 4-6 and pitch.”
Miller has been playing golf since he was 6 years old, and his scores are regularly in the 70s. Last year, he considered the idea of playing both sports, but couldn't make it work. With new coaches this year, he was able to make his plan fit.
“I met him one day in the summer,” said Moore's first-year golf coach Ryan Dukes. “I noticed he could really play. He told me he wanted to make this a serious deal.
“Just like with baseball, this takes a lot of dedication, but he's a hard enough worker that he'll be able to handle it.”
Dukes and baseball coach Tony Borum share a classroom, so working together on Miller's schedule has been easy. But the biggest focus for everyone involved has been Miller's grades with so much responsibility.
“I have over a 4.0, so I just stay focused on my grades,” he said. “It's a lot of work, but I like it.”