Senior Spotlight: After successful football season, Avonworth senior sticks with sport he loves

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Sunday, May 3, 2020 | 9:00 AM


Jax Miller’s senior year got off to a pretty exciting start.

The 6-foot-1, 190-pound running back ran for 2,362 yards and 29 touchdowns as the Avonworth football team turned in a 15-1 record, won a WPIAL Class 2A championship and finished as the state runners-up at Hershey.

“It was definitely, definitely, something,” Miller said. “I’ll it remember for the rest of my life.”

Not only did the football season allow Miller and the Antelopes to go out on a high note, but it also forced him to have to make a decision after football season had concluded.

What sport would he play in college? Football or Baseball?

In the regular season, Miller ran for over 100 yards six times. In the playoffs, he became a different type of runner.

Of Avonworth’s six playoff games, Miller ran for more than 200 yards three times and scored four touchdowns in two of them, including a 291-yard, four-score performance against No. 1 seed Washington in the WPIAL championship.

His performance opened up the eyes of a few college coaches and he received a few football offers. So, he took into consideration the opportunities he had in front of him. But, in the end, Miller said it came down to where he felt the most comfortable and that was at Cal (Pa.).

“It wasn’t really too difficult,” Miller said. “I’ve been playing baseball ever since I was 5, and I basically wanted to make baseball my priority, but if a better offer came for football, I would want to go to that school. But I wanted to make sure the school that was offering me was some place that I could call home for four years, and I didn’t feel like I had found the best situation to go and play football.”

No matter what sport he ended up deciding to play in college, Miller left his mark at Avonworth.

What’s your favorite memory of playing sports for Avonworth?

It was definitely during the WPIAL championship between the third and fourth quarter. We all looked up into the stands and, like, all the fans in the stands were cheering. It seemed like the whole Avonworth community was there. It was pretty cool.

Would you rather be on defense or at the plate with the game on the line?

Even though I don’t pitch that much, I’d like to be pitching. I like having the game in my control, especially in those situations.

If you could face any pitcher, who would it be?

I feel like even though I might not be able to hit it, it has to be Aroldis Chapman. I just want to see how fast it is.

What’s a day look like for you during quarantine?

I’ll wake up and finish my school work first. Then, I’ll go out and play some basketball with my brother, Neo, or go fishing with a buddy. I usually play some video games at night after my homework is done.

What’s your favorite moment as a sports fan?

Definitely the Santonio Holmes catch against the Cardinals in the Super Bowl (2009).

Why did you choose to attend Cal U?

I liked their facilities. I liked their coaches. They believed in me. They were my first offer too, so that played a part.

What will your major be?

Sports management.

If you could have anyone give the commencement speech at your graduation, who would it be?

It’d probably have to be my favorite baseball player right now, Manny Machado, but if I could bring someone back to life, it’d be my other favorite baseball player, Lou Gehrig.

Greg Macafee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Greg by email at gmacafee@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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