Meta World Peace once said, “I’m a little obsessed with being competitive.” Senior Dane Milby has exemplified a competitive spirit the last four years as a Hawks Baseball and Football player.
“I am a laid-back guy until I do something competitive,” says Milby. “Then I turn into one of the loudest, most obnoxious people you have ever been around. I love competition no matter what it is I am doing.”
Milby exudes a competitive edge like no other Hawk athlete. His motivation to win has been infectious with his teammates on the football field and in his last season as a Hawk Baseball player.
Head Football Coach Josh Jaggers says, “Maybe the most competitive young man I have ever coached in what will soon be 14 years, and I am not so sure that I played with anybody more competitive than him either while in high school and college for that matter. He is the type that hates losing more than he loves winning. He played every single snap as if it could be his last. What most don’t realize also is that Dane is very unselfish. He is not worried about stats, only the win. You would have to kill him to beat him, because he is going to keep getting up and swinging.”
Head Baseball Coach Eric Allen concurs with Jaggers. “Dane is very outgoing and is a great leader for our team. He represents our program very well by doing things ranging from playing the game the right way. He works incredibly hard to be the best that he can be and has an unmatched desire to win. His competitive spirit is refreshing because he puts the team’s success above his own. Dane’s the happiest player on our team when we win and he takes a loss harder than anybody, regardless of how he performed.”
Allen expects Milby to take a more prominent role this season. “With the loss of most all of our pitching staff from last year as well as the middle of our batting order, we are asking Dane to be the catalyst. He has gotten a completely new pitching staff ready for varsity baseball. He gets to know every pitcher very well and makes sure that they are completely on the same page and comfortable with each other before they ever work together in a game.”
Allen continues, “Offensively, we need Dane to be a playmaker. Last year he had the highest on-base percentage on the team in the leadoff spot. We are looking for him to improve on those numbers and create havoc on the bases. He is an exciting player to watch. I have enjoyed coaching Dane so much for many reasons. He loves to play baseball and he loves to compete.”
That competitive spirit is what Assistant Football Coach Sonny Judd appreciates most about Milby. “He is the most talented QB I have ever worked with as a coach. Dane is a special athlete. The word special is tossed around so freely nowadays, but with Dane, that word fits. He made things that most people cannot do, look easy. He played quarterback for us, but could have easily played any other position on the field and would have been just as successful.”
Judd adds, “We have a unique relationship. When I first came on staff three years ago and was responsible for coaching the offense, it was also Dane’s first year as the starting QB. Naturally we had to trust each other if we wanted to be successful. Fortunately, our personalities worked well together on and off the field. Which is good considering all of the time we had to spend together.
Our relationship has grown from player/coach to a type of father/son relationship to now that his high school football career is over and he is getting ready to transition to the next phase of his life I have become more of the way older big brother type person in his life. I look forward to being able to watch him from the stands next year as a fan and a friend.”
Milby owes a lot of his success to several of his coaches, but Judd does hold a special place in his heart. “Coach Sonny (Judd) and I have always been really close ever since he moved down here when I was a sophomore and I never wanted to disappoint him so I’d go out of my way to do whatever it took to meet his approval on how I competed on both the football field and on the baseball field.”
Milby will complete his final season as the Hawks Catcher and leadoff batter. After High School Dane will enroll at Georgetown College to play football.
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