For The Tribune
Dalton Miller has enjoyed playing football and wrestling at Seymour because of the competition and the physical nature of those sports.
“Strapping up that helmet on Friday night, you really can’t beat it,” Miller said. “I miss it every day. I miss the guys and the coaching staff. I’m sure those relationships will last long after high school. I enjoyed Seymour football, and I forever will. It has a special place in my heart. I’m glad I went through it.”
When it comes to wrestling, Miller likes the mix of physical and mental challenges.
“I like the one-on-one competition in wrestling,” he said. “The nerve issue shoots up a lot, especially when it’s just you out on the mat. You can’t get as pumped as you do for football, but you don’t want to get too head over heals on yourself. It’s more of a calm situation, but as soon as you shake his hand, it’s all out, full force. I thoroughly enjoy it.”
Miller, who began wrestling in sixth grade, is in his second season wrestling at 220 pounds.
He wrestled at 170 pounds his freshman year and at 182 pounds his sophomore year.
“Last year, I wrestled 220 pounds also, but I was a little underweight,” Miller said. “This year, I weighed about 215 pounds. Most of the guys you wrestle, you can tell right away how strong they are, especially when they grab ahold of you.”
Miller is 13-4 on the mat this season for the Owls.
“I’ve lost a few tough matches I probably shouldn’t have lost,” he said. “I’m getting back into the swing of things. It’s a long season, and I’m excited to see where it takes me.”
Last season, he was a regional qualifier in the postseason.
He said he likes to get a takedown early in a match.
“Usually, double legs are my favorite,” Miller said. “I just take what is there, just be aggressive on the head, use my hands and not really force the issue, just be open for shots whenever they’re available.”
Miller feels confident wrestling on the top or bottom at the start of the second or third periods.
“We’ve really hammered being on top recently,” he said. “I feel like I’ve improved on that, especially when we wrestled Madison the other day. I was able to ride the kid out and eventually get a pin.”
Next week, the Owls will travel to the Mooresville Holiday Classic on Dec. 27 and Dec. 28.
“Mooresville is one of the best holiday classics in the state, so we’re really excited to get up there and knock off a few ranked kids and maybe get on the leader boards,” Miller said. “The coach has really worked on our schedule, and it is something that has helped us, especially with our record and just becoming a better overall team.”
Miller, who is hoping to qualify for state this season, said he needs to work on getting that first takedown.
“It seems like I’m always waiting and waiting to get that first takedown, and that has hurt me in the past,” he said. “My four losses have come off situations like that.”
In the fall, Miller started at both defensive end and nose tackle for the Owls in football.
“At defensive end, you’re able to make a lot more plays,” he said. “Wherever coach put me, I was happy with.”
Reaching the sectional championship game two years in a row was a big thing for the program, Miller said.
“It opened people’s eyes a little bit,” he said. “There are a lot more people getting interested in football.”
Miller said lifting weights to become stronger is especially important in football and wrestling.
“Strength is a big part of it, especially when you’re going against somebody,” Miller said. “Your job is to overpower them and win that position. Strength in sports become a big part of athletics overall.”
The senior said he has enjoyed his time at Seymour High School.
“I’ve enjoyed being a student here,” he said. “I have a lot of teachers that have made a big impact in my life, and my relationship has grown with them. Just being a student here is really a blessing. I’m glad to say I’m part of this community. It’s an awesome thing to be a high school athlete.”
Name: Dalton Miller
School: Seymour High School
Parents: Connie and Bill Miller
Sports: Football, four years; wrestling, four years
Athletic highlights: In football, all-county team; in wrestling, regional qualifier 2015-16
Plans after high school: Attend college
Favorite food: Steak
Favorite TV show: “Friday Night Lights”
Favorite musician: Hank Williams Jr.
Favorite athlete: Tim Tebow