May 27, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

Tim Burt’s Press Box column: Can Myron Miller stick to the new plan?

Irvine High players follow the action during last week’s passing league game at Irvine Stadium.

Here is our weekly look at what’s happening in Irvine, Tustin and around the county……

Ever since news broke that Tustin’s head football coach Myron Miller was pulling an audible and scrapping the famed double wing offense, there have been a few skeptics on Twitter who said they doubt about whether this will actually happen.

One sportswriter (not this one) suggested he would believe it when he saw it. Other followers seemed really surprised and at least one expressed his disappointment that the Tillers were abandoning the double wing.

If you haven’t folllowed Tustin football over the years, the Tillers have been highly-successful with the double wing, run oriented offense. And they’ve had some outstanding running backs to execute the plan.

But Miller said that’s not what young high school players want to run these days, it’s not what they see on TV and the old system was making it harder to attract players to Tustin.

To see the slide show, please click on the first photo.

So Tustin is going to a pro-style offense, one which Miller won’t have much to do with. He will still be the head coach, but in charge of the defense.

Miller said he has 100 percent confidence in offensive coordinators Sam Baker and Anthony Lopez.

“I tried to do this four years ago, it didn’t work out,” Miller said. “And then these two guys are perfect for it. And I really trust them 100 percent.

“We’ve won a CIF championship throwing the ball for eight yards and one interception. So it has nothing really to do with winning and losing games, as much as attracting the kids today. We were getting a smaller and smaller pool of football players.”

So the 75-year-old Miller, as enthusiastic as ever going into the season, was open to change. And that’s refreshing.

Now, let’s see if he can stick to the plan and let’s see how it works out.

Some other notes:

  • Beckman baseball coach Kevin Lavalle oversaw the Beckman World Series last week in which the players were the coaches. “It’s really the easiest week of the year for me,” he said.  “I sit in the dugout and play the music. And I observe and I evaluate and I try my best not to coach. It’s kind of the last week of summer where we can kind of evaluate guys. It definitely gives me a pretty good feeling of where we are headed into the fall.”
  • Crean Lutheran athletes should benefit from a new weight training facility on campus. All the teams will be in the tough Empire League beginning in the fall, so physical conditioning is going to be important.
  • The Tustin high school football programs will be tuning up for the season with a scrimmage on Friday, Aug. 10 at Tustin High. Tustin, Foothill, Beckman, Segerstrom, Buena Park and Trabuco Hills will be competing. The scrimmage starts at 6 p.m.
  • Irvine High hosted a tremendous passing league tournament, which also included Crean Lutheran. Lots of volunteers and coaches put in a full day under very warm temperatures at Irvine Stadium. Irvine took second in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes South Coast Challenge, falling to Rancho Christian 21-19 in the championship game. “That’s a lot of football, six games of football,” said Irvine Coach Erik Terry.
  • Former Northwood quarterback Dan Selway is hosting his own football camp on Monday at the Great Park. His former coach, Rick Curtis, believes coaching is in Selway’s future. The camp runs through Wednesday and sign-ups are still being accepted.
  • We get to cover some great stories and one of them was last Friday when we dropped by the Beckman basketball camp for special needs youngsters. Shubh Khandhadia, a member of the varsity basketball team who was assisted by his teammates, did an outstanding job of organizing and putting this together. He accomplished his goal of putting smiles on the players faces. It was great to see. We came away very inspired by all who were involved.
  • Woodbridge’s football team spent the weekend in Catalina conditioning for the start of the football season.
  • Rick Curtis, now the head football coach at Capistrano Valley Christian, was excited to get the chance to visit with Will Ferrell at a Lakers game last season. Ferrell recognized Curtis immediately and was happy to talk to him.
  • If you have sports news to share in the OC Sports Zone, please send it to us: timburt@ocsportszone.com and remember, a good story is a good story regardless of where in Orange County it happens. We’re so grateful and thankful for the great reception we’ve received so far. We have some exciting plans for August. Athletic directors and team representatives in Irvine and Tustin please send us all your schedules for the fall so we can plan our coverage. Please remember, we’re paying attention to what our readers like.