Kevin Colley, Staff Writer
WHEELERSBURG — Learning how to be a leader on the field is very important. Learning how to carry yourself with class and grace off the field shows an even higher level of character.
Two-sport standout Libby Miller fits both of those molds and has done so with conviction and a heart of gold. That’s why the Wheelersburg senior is getting the opportunity to participate in not one, but two sports at the next level.
Miller, who’s played an instrumental part in Wheelersburg’s three consecutive Division III girls soccer district championships participating on the school’s track and field team — one that finished seventh in the state last spring — announced her intent to play college soccer and participate in track and field at Georgetown College this past Wednesday.
For Miller, the abilities that both programs offer from a competition standpoint weren’t the only reasons she fell in love with the central Kentucky-based university … sitting just 20 minutes outside of Lexington.
“They are very successful in what they do, both in the classroom and on the field or track, so that definitely caught my eye in the first place,” Miller said. “I went on a visit, fell in love with the location and campus in general, and knew it was instantly somewhere I wanted to be. It felt like home. I talked to the soccer coach and she mentioned track, which I hadn’t thought of, and it all just fell into place.”
Miller will depart Wheelersburg as one of the school’s all-time best soccer and track talents to hit the region — and that’s saying a great deal considering the senior still has another full track season left.
During her soccer career, Miller was a first-team all-SOC selection in three of her four seasons and an all-district selection in each of her last two. She posted 77 goals and 20 assists during her four years en route to posting a massive 117-point output.
During that time, the Pirates posted an outstanding 64-6-7 record while building the program into a regular regional contender, as its three consecutive district championships and regional semifinal appearances from 2016 to 2018 would suggest.
Those numbers certainly raise eyebrows … even in a long line of family successes the Miller bloodline has become known for.
“My family comes from a long line of Wheelersburg student-athletes and have continued to support the school and teams. I’m the first soccer player in the family though, so that was fun for everyone,” Miller said. “Wheelersburg’s girls soccer program is incredible and I only see it getting better. Every year, we continued to work harder than the previous one, and it paid off. I enjoyed every minute of playing and being able to leave a mark with the great teams that I was a part of. I wouldn’t be where I am today without them.”
In track, Miller’s successes have been just as profound.
She set personal bests of 13.05 seconds in the 100-meter dash and a mark of 28.47 seconds in the 200 dash at the SOC meet this past May, while also contributing to conference championship-winning units in the 4×100-meter relay (51.09) and the 4×200 (1:50.32).
Later in the season, Miller’s 4×100 unit — including teammates Gabby Deacon, Lani Irwin, and Lauren Jolly — tallied a 51.16 second mark at the OHSAA Division III State Championships to place eighth and set a new school record in the process.
“It was a huge honor,” Miller said. “We also broke a school record. Us girls talk a lot at school about the upcoming track season. We see getting more events to state and being able to break more records if we can. We plan to work hard and reach those goals that we have set for ourselves. I am very excited for the 2019 track season.”
At Georgetown, Miller plans to major in pre-medicine. She’ll be joining a girls soccer program that has been quite successful over the years in the Mid-South Conference. The Tiger have reeled off 13 winning seasons in 16 years. The track and field program at Georgetown is no slouch, either — it’s put 12 student-athletes on the all-MSC list over the last three years. Last year, both sports combined to produce 14 all-academic MSC honorees — eight for the girls soccer program and six on the girls track and field side of the spectrum.
“Just today, I started talking to some of the girls, and I am super excited about it,” Miller said. “I am getting to know the coaches and I’m excited to see how they do things, and make myself better in the process.”
Getting better at a task is something that Libby Miller will always be able to do. She’s always worked to be the best she can be in anything she’s set out to have success in. But that wouldn’t have happened without coaches who dedicated themselves to making Miller better.
She’ll be the first to admit that fact.
“Every coach that has coached me taught me different things in completely different ways,” Miller said. “(Todd) Jarvis and the additional Wheelersburg coaches that I had in soccer pushed me in a way that taught me to be a leader. They taught me to lead by example, and I have learned so much from them as a result. With track, (Paul) Boll and (Tom) Kaskey helped me stay in shape, which helped me on the soccer field. All my coaches have made such a huge impact on who I am as a person and a player, and I am so thankful for that.”
And then, of course, there’s friends and family who have supported her throughout her high school career as well … the same people who will continue to support her at the next level.
“They are everything,” Miller said. “They are all so supportive of me, and what I want to do. Having their support means the world. I’m so excited to continue to work and will hopefully make them all proud.”