The Dominion Post  

Preston’s Miller exceeds goal of making 100 tackles

Created on:   Wed, Nov 29, 2017   8:43 PM

Last modified:   Wed, Nov 29, 2017   8:43 PM

The Dominion Post

KINGWOOD — Senior linebacker Al-Rasheed Benton is WVU’s leading tackler this fall through 12 games, with 102,

Preston High senior linebacker Christian “Blake” Miller had 115 in just 10 games. Even more impressively, he did it coming off a major knee surgery.

“It’s one of the most impressive things I’ve seen over 20 years of coaching,” said Jonathan Tennant, head coach at Preston. “He tore about everything you can tear up in a knee [last year], and he came back. A lot of people don’t realize this, the hours and pain he went through just to get back on the field. And he didn’t miss a beat.”

Blake said he entered his junior year with the goal of 100 tackles, but his plan was derailed halfway through the year.

“I blew my knee out in the sixth game of the season. I tore over five ligaments,” Miller said. “The doctors said I probably wasn’t going to play, but I healed a lot faster than I thought I would and I was able to come back in May.”

For Miller, it’s special to come back from such a low point and redeem himself by accomplishing his long-awaited goal.

“The injury really motivated me. My junior year when I got hurt, I had 60 tackles, and I wanted to get 100 tackles in, and just knowing I had to come up short because I got hurt, really pushed me towards the peak this year,” Miller said.

Although Miller made it back to the field in time, it took many hours of sacrifice in rehab and training to get him where he is now.

“Over the summer, I just had to bust my butt,” he said. “I had to put a lot of work into the weight room. I had to rehab really hard to get my knee strong, and I had to do a lot of work in the weight room getting bigger, faster and stronger.”

The work wasn’t finished for Miller, though. To tally 115 tackles in a season, you must play every game at near-perfection on defense, and hunt down the ball with precision and vigor.

“You have to play with a chip on your shoulder, you have to play mad,” Miller said. “When I step out on the field, I’m ready to hurt everyone that lines up across from me.”

Now that Miller has reached this milestone, he doubts he’ll forget the memories anytime soon.

“It makes me happy. It’s something that I’ll remember for the rest of my life,” Miller said. “I just wanted to go out with a bang this year, and I think I did.”