To the common person, winning football games happens on the field in the middle of October when the air is crisp and lights are shining bright with thousands of screaming fans urging their team to victory.
However, those who understand what it truly takes to have the higher number on the scoreboard when the clock strikes zero, know that the victories are earned in the summer heat rather than the fall cool.
The Yukon football team just completed its second week of Miller Iron, which is the name for the summer workouts the Miller players are going through right now every morning Monday through Thursday of each week leading up to the first of August.
The sophomores through seniors run through their Miller Iron workouts from 6:30 a.m. until 8:30 a.m., the freshmen go from 7:30 a.m. until 9:30 a.m.
The first 75 minutes of the workout are done in the weight room building strength but it’s the final 45 minutes that tests the true toughness of each Yukon player.
They move to the turf on the football field in the hot summer sun and run different types of sprints for 45 minutes.
“Our motto for our program right now is ‘Miller Tough’,” Yukon coach Jeremy Reed said. “We are developing discipline right now. It’s more than just coming out here and getting bigger, stronger and faster. This is about developing that mental toughness that we are going to be able to dig down deep and grab in a tough game in the fall.”
Reed said he likes what he has seen from his team so far through the first two weeks.
“We have a long way to go but I have been impressed so far,” Reed said. “Our participation has been tremendous. The guys’ attitudes have been really good and they are getting better every time they enter the facility. We want to improve physically of course, but we want to make sure we improve mentally as well.”
Yukon senior football player Parker Kenley, who has had three different head football coaches since he has been in the Miller football program, said there is one main difference in the summer workouts this year than in past years.
“We are more together as a team than we ever have been since I’ve been here,” Kenley said. “Guys are not out here just for themselves. It’s been great so far, everyone is working really hard and we are having fun doing it.”
Kenley added that he believes this summer will pay dividends this fall.
“I believe with how strong we are together, that is going to translate into us having more success this fall,” Kenley said. “We are all really excited.”