By Joe Smith
As Morgantown senior Luke Milne lined up in the backfield, the seconds continued to tick away.
The fourth quarter was quickly winding down, aided by a running clock — MHS held a 49-7 lead over OVAC rivals Brooke, and many fans began the late-night trek back to Morgantown.
The ball was snapped, and Milne took the handoff. He plowed through the middle before bouncing outside toward the open field, traveling 66 yards for to tack yet another Mohigan touchdown on the scoreboard.
“I just saw that open field, and I started running as hard as I could. Luckily I got there,” Milne said.
“It means a lot. We all put in all this work in the offseason to try and get better. To come out on the field and see the results, and be a part of the results is a really good feeling.”
The score was his first touchdown of the season – and it may prove to be his last. Milne isn’t the star of the team at MHS — he’s only carried the ball three times this fall and averages just short of two tackles per game defensively. But while you might not see him at the top of the depth chart, his role on the team runs deeper — and is arguably much more important.
“He doesn’t get a lot of playing time, but he’s never griped or complained one bit about it,” MHS coach Matt Lacy said. “He continues to show up and be a leader for this team. He encourages our guys — when you look up and down the sideline you always see Luke trying to cheer the guys on, no matter the situation.”
Though his efforts helped him step up a commanding figure in the locker room, Milne said he puts more focus on keeping a positive energy and good vibes in the locker room.
“I always try to keep my head up, and when my teammates are down, I try to get their heads up,” Milne said. “I want them to understand what they’re getting to experience. High school football is such a cool thing.”
Milne hopes that by keeping his energy high and supporting his teammates at every turn, it will prove infectious throughout the roster.
“I just want to keep my head up and my energy up, and I feel like if I can do that, it’ll effect everyone else and just spread,” he said.
The dedication to the team has allowed Milne to be not just another member of the roster, but an integral figure to the team’s energy and success during their 2018 campaign.
“He’s one of our best cheerleaders, so to speak — and that’s not in a negative way,” Lacy said. “He does it in such a positive manner — every time in the weight room lifting, on the sideline, he just encourages guys.”