Note: Milford finished with a 1-9 overall record in 2012 and was fourth in 1A South with a 1-3 record. It lost to Duchesne 55-22 in the 1A first round.
MILFORD — The days of being one of Class 1A’s whipping boys are over for the Milford Tigers.
Two years ago Milford started a ton of freshman and was routinely clobbered on its way to a 2-8 record. Last season those same kids again made up the bulk of the team, and the result was a 1-9 record.
Heading into the 2013 season, those youngsters aren’t so young anymore and Milford is ready to compete.
“We went from being really young and getting beat up, and now we have juniors and seniors. That changes everything,” said Milford coach Brian Williamson. “You’re going to see a very poised team this year that knows what they’re doing. They’re not young.”
The bulk of Milford’s starters are still underclassmen, but physically they’re ready to compete.
In years past, Williams’ biggest coaching challenge was keeping the kids motivated amid all the blowout losses. This season the challenge is convincing his players they can win.
“At first it’s going to be a really big mindset problem for a lot of them. For the past 13 years this program has lost,” said Williamson. “I think I picked a pretty good schedule this year and I plugged in the games that make us start to feel and believe that we’re going to be able to win.”
That easier schedule includes games against Beaver’s JV team and Kanab’s JV team, along with nonregion games against Whitehorse, Monument Valley and White Pine, Nev.
The meat of the schedule, however, will come during Weeks 3-5 when the Tigers play region games against Altamont, Duchesne and Rich. Last season they lost to Rich by 36 and Duchesne by 33. Those two games will be the true test for Milford about how far the program has come.
Williamson believes the Tigers can be successful. Back in July Milford competed in a team camp with Parowan, Kanab and Enterprise, and he was very pleased with the results.
“We basically went into camp with five or six plays, and came out of that camp as one of the top one or top two in the camp as far as performance,” said Williamson.
Defensively, Milford could be exponentially better than a year ago when it gave up 40 points per game. The defensive front is the big reason why.
“I’ll basically put my D-line up against anyone. We’ve got kids that have naturally grown with age, but also growing with physical conditioning —20, 30, 40 pounds — and that’s just strength and muscle,” said Williamson.
If Milford does get things turned around this season, it will be a major accomplishment for Williamson, who’s poured his heart and soul into football at Milford — from the varsity level all the way down to little league football.
Milford Tigers at a glance
Coach: Brian Williamson is entering his fourth year as head coach at Milford after putting together a 6-25 record his first three seasons. He’s a graduate of Coral Gables High School in Florida.
(11 returning starters; wing-T offense)