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Connellsville's Miller relies on strength on both sides of the ball

Connellsville's Dylan Miller has become a team leader for the Falcons. Evan R. Sanders/Daily Courier

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Connellsville roster

No. Name Position Height Weight Class

1 Jordan McCrae RB/DB 5-11 170 Sr.

3 James Stevenson RB/DB 5-7 185 Sr.

4 Nathan Earnesty WR/DB 5-9 165 Sr.

6 Zachary Cree RB/LB 5-10 203 Sr.

7 Darrell Ross WR/DB 6-2 185 So.

8 Michael Parlak WR/DB 5-9 173 Jr.

9 Alexander Farris QB/DB 6-1 180 Jr.

10 Shawn DeWitt WR/DB 5-10 157 Sr.

11 Jade Maher QB/DB 6-5 180 Jr.

14 Benjamin Klsiel K 5-11 165 Sr.

15 Grant Witt WR/DB 5-7 163 Sr.

17 Derek Brubacher QB/DB 5-11 167 So.

20 Jimmy DeMarco FB/LB 6-0 207 Jr.

21 Dylan Knopsnider RB/DB 5-9 158 So.

24 Dylan Miller RB/LB 5-11 231 Sr.

25 Mitchell Kirshy WR/DB 5-6 122 Jr.

26 Zachary Butt RB/DB 5-7 182 Jr .

28 Josh Cree RB/LB 6-0 183 So.

30 Nathan Brown RB/DB 5-8 146 Jr.

32 Joseph Beucher RB/LB 5-8 165 Sr.

34 Christopher Russell RB/LB 5-8 168 Jr.

38 Jeremy Welsh WR/DB 5-5 146 So.

40 Luke Bigham DB/RB 5-11 180 So.

41 Matt Butler RB/LB 5-9 212 So.

43 Michael Sledge RB/LB 5-5 155 So.

44 Ryan Keefer WR/DB 5-10 140 So.

45 Anthony DeMarco RB/LB 5-10 204 So.

48 Eric Saylor WR/DB 5-8 172 Jr.

50 Justin Rasor OL/DL 5-10 175 So.

52 Austin Heinbaugh OL/DL 6-0 230 Jr.

53 Garrett Snyder OL/DL 6-0 260 So.

55 Austin Brooks OL/DL 6-2 280 Jr.

56 Kevin Koontz OL/DL 6-0 260 So.

57 Aaron Breakiron OL/DL 6-1 277 Sr.

58 Dylan Mc Crae OL/DL 6-0 227 So.

59 Christian Stefl OL/DL 6-4 327 So.

60 Sean Meade OL/DL 5-6 273 Jr.

61 Dru Barr OL/DL 5-9 214 Sr.

62 Marvin Wedge OL/DL 6-3 256 Jr.

63 Seth McFadden OL/DL 6-1 263 Jr.

64 Cody Hileman OL/DL 5-10 208 So.

65 Brandt Heisterman OL/DL 5-8 215 Sr.

66 Robert Groff OL/DL 5-11 190 Sr.

70 Timothy Baysinger OL/DL 6-5 205 Jr.

71 Ryan Younkin OL/DL 6-0 221 So.

72 Jordan Kinnick OL/DL 5-10 315 Jr.

73 Logan Miller TE/DL 5-9 247 Jr.

75 Gunnar Lynch OL/DL 5-9 260 So.

76 Chris Fronczek OL/DL 5-8 337 So.

77 Marshall Flynn OL/DL 5-8 253 So.

79 Raymond Van Horn OL/DL 6-4 295 Jr.

80 Nathan Norton WR/DB 6-1 153 So.

81 Caleb Pittsment TE/DE 6-4 200 So.

82 Christofer Greenlee TE/DL 6-1 194 Sr.

83 Alexander Blaney WR/DB 5-11 160 So.

84 Caleb Stevenson RB/DB 5-10 164 Jr.

85 Patrick Healey WR/DB 6-4 163 So.

86 Cody Hall WR/DB 5-9 135 So.

87 Luke Kisiel WR/DB 5-8 126 So.

89 Caleb Maddas WR/DB 5-9 142 So.

91 Kenny Ritcher WR/DB 5-6 156 Jr.

93 Brian Stinger WR/DB 5-4 135 So.

95 Cody Kerns OL/DL 5-9 171 So.

97 Jaycob Miller TE/LB 5-7 167 Jr.

Top high school sports
Saturday, Aug. 25, 2012, 1:06 a.m.

When Connellsville senior Dylan Miller began preparing for the 2012 football season, he realized his game was far from polished.

“I felt like I needed to do a lot to help myself get quicker and stronger,” he said.

So after analyzing his game, Miller spent much of the offseason working on his speed as well as his strength. He took part in speed sessions at the Norwin Speed and Strength Academy and spent considerable time in the weight room. The results have been tangible. Miller has shown improvement in all areas of the game and his work ethic is second to none, his coach said.

“What makes Dylan stick out is that he has a big-time blue-collar attitude,” Connellsville coach Dave McDonald said. “He works hard every day to get better. He is a physical kid that puts his time in. He leads by example. He hasn't taken a rep off throughout camp and he always goes 100 miles per hour. That type of play is infectious, and it spreads to the other members of the team.”

Miller's ability to play and practice at full speed is more impressive considering he is adjusting to a different defensive position. A former linebacker, the 5-foot-11, 231-pound Miller is making the switch to defensive end.

“It's going great,” McDonald said. “(Defensive end) is probably his natural position. It took us a while to figure out where to use him, but he has a quick first step and he understands leverage.”

Miller certainly doesn't mind the switch.

“I like defensive end a lot,” Miller said, noting he feels he has an advantage over the offensive linemen due to his increased speed. “It's a better fit for me.”

While speed figures to be his primary asset on the defensive side of the ball, the use of his increased strength will be key when the Falcons are on offense. Miller will be a part of a stable of running backs in Connellsville's Wing-T offense. With Miller, there likely won't be a lot of finesse in his game.

“Dylan is a downhill runner, and he'll try to run you over,” McDonald said. “You can't help but like that.”

Miller's hard-nosed approach to the game certainly comes into play when he is in the Connellsville backfield.

“I like to hit people,” Miller said.

Miller, who also wrestles for Connellsville, is excited to help the Falcons achieve their goals this season.

“I just want to help the team get better,” Miller said. “By helping myself get better, I'm helping the team. I'm looking forward to the season. Hopefully, we can win more games and make it (to the playoffs) again.”

Jason Black is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at or 724-626-3534.

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