Barrington High School Head Football Coach, Joe Sanchez says he’s filled with “JOY, PRIDE & EXCITEMENT” for one of his own players, former Bronco Wide Receiver & Defensive Back, Scotty Miller, as he prepares to play in Super Bowl LV at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, February 7th. A 2015 BHS graduate, Miller will take the big stage as Wide Receiver for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. One game away from a potential Super Bowl victory against the Kansas City Chiefs and Barrington could not be more excited for hometown hero, Scotty Miller!
The world was watching as Miller caught a NFC Championship game touchdown pass from QB, Tom Brady that helped secure the Buccaneers’ spot in this weekend’s Big Game. After graduating from BHS, Scotty Miller attended Bowling Green University in Ohio. This is only his second year playing for the NFL. Take a look…
We’ve covered quite a few BHS football games over the years with help from the students of BHS-TV. We have highlights from the biggest games of Scotty’s last season as a BHS Bronco which we’ll be sharing here this week.
But first, we had to catch up with Coach Sanchez for his take on everything Scotty Miller has accomplished since his days at Barrington High School. Here’s what he had to share:
365: When did you first meet Scotty Miller and see him play? What first impressions did he make on you?
Coach Sanchez: I first met Scotty his freshman year. When he really stood out to me was in the spring of his freshman year when we were doing some program speed & agility out in the stadium and he POPPED!!! He didn’t move like anyone else we had and I am talking freshman through seniors. He was beating everyone. At first my thought was “Who is this?!?!” and then I thought why is this kid not running track. After watching him that is when I decided we need to bring him up to the Varsity and see what he can do. All he did was become our starting safety on the varsity football team as a sophomore.
365: How long did you coach Scotty and what were some of his most memorable accomplishments on your team? What are your memories of him on the field? How do you think he grew as a player while at BHS?
Coach Sanchez: We coached him for 3 years – he was a 3 year varsity starter. Man there are so many memorable accomplishments it’s hard to break it down but probably the one that stands out the most was his Kickoff Return for a TD against Maine South in our 2nd round playoff victory. It was such a big play because they had just scored to tie the game and that helped to change the momentum of the game.
Coach Sanchez: My memories of Scotty on the field are just of a high energy & hard working player whose love of the game was contagious. He was a captain his senior year and he & his senior teammates held everyone accountable to our standard of excellence both on & off the field. I think he grew in his confidence, work ethic & leadership as a player while at BHS. To clarify this, Scotty’s always believed in himself, been one of the hardest working individuals and been a leader – this comes from his family, but I believe his time as a player in our program allowed those skills to continue to develop to help him become the best version of himself both on & off the field.
365: What skills/talents/abilities (physical, mental, etc) do you think have gotten Scotty this far? What are the skills you think it takes to – not just make it – but to excel in this way at pro football and as a Wide Receiver at this level?
Coach Sanchez: Beyond his speed, which by the way is ELITE, I believe Scotty’s confidence & humility have been a big part of why he has gotten to where he is today. Scotty’s belief in himself stems from his preparation and attention to detail. He is not going to be outworked, you combine this with his god-given ability and this is what makes him special. Another very important trait is his humility. Scotty’s always had a humility about him to recognize he can always get better, and this is easier said than done. It is not easy to take feedback especially when it is not the kind of feedback we want. Scotty has been able to master this and it’s a big reason why he has been so successful.
365: What went through your mind when you saw Scotty catch the touchdown pass before halftime during last weekend’s game?
Coach Sanchez: JOY, PRIDE, EXCITEMENT – for him, his family and our community
365: When was the last time you talked with Scotty? Has he asked you for advice or have you reached out to him this week? If so, how did that conversation go?
Coach Sanchez: I am very fortunate to have stayed in touch with Scotty and his family since he graduated from BHS back in 2015. The last time we texted was this weekend and it was about how I wanted a rematch in a game I lost to him over the holidays… But in all seriousness I try to message him before and after every game just to check in and see how he is doing and give him some thoughts. We’ve texted a few times since the Championship game and it is obviously a very exciting time and he is just enjoying the opportunity that he & his teammates have to play and win the Super Bowl. I know for him it is not good enough just to be in the game – HE WANTS TO WIN!!!
365: Any predictions for this weekend’s Super Bowl? For Scotty’s role in the game?
Coach Sanchez: Of course I think Tampa Bay will win. I think, first off, you’ve got the Tom Brady Factor and just the experience and the leadership he brings. He’s changed the team culture because he’s tough and he knows what it takes to win. He also knows that, no matter what happens in the game, you’re never out of it. He’s so unflappable. Number two, the Buccaneers’ defense is playing really well. When they played Kansas the first time they struggled with some things but they’ve redeemed themselves and learned a lot from that game.
As for Scotty’s role, it will obviously depend on what the coaches believe is the best strategy to win the game but I know this – Scotty will be ready to do whatever he needs to do to help his team. Just like he has all season and from the time he played for us @ BHS.
365: Have any other athletes you’ve coached made it this far?
Coach Sanchez: We’ve been fortunate where we have had a few boys get opportunities to play in the NFL but up to this point Scotty is the most successful that I have coached. But as for BHS you have to remember we’ve had Gary Fencik & Brady Smith both have long NFL careers and they are both outstanding men.
365: Where will you be watching the Super Bowl and with whom?
Coach Sanchez: At this time I will probably be at home with my wife & two daughters.
365: How does it feel to have one of your past players compete at this level?
It’s a multitude of emotions. It’s joy. It’s pride. It’s just indescribable because I know so much of what Scotty has done and what his family has done to get to this point. To see him on this stage, contributing and being successful and taking advantage of every opportunity he’s been given has just been unbelievable to watch.
365: What do Scotty’s achievements mean for other students at BHS today?
Coach Sanchez: I think his story is a great inspiration for all of our students. It’s a reminder that anything is possible if you are willing to really commit to the work and the process of what it takes to be GREAT at anything. His story is also a great story of perseverance. Remember Scotty doesn’t look like or fit the formula for the typical NFL player but he makes up for it with his speed and his work ethic and his precise route running as a wide receiver. He’s had to be a real student of the game. All you need is one team, one person/coach to believe in you and then be prepared to make the most of your opportunity when it comes and that is exactly what Scotty has done all the way up to this point in his career. That is why I believe so many people in our community are genuinely excited for his success.