A “very special” Barker student-athlete whose love of sports was only transcended only by his love of others, is being remembered today by the football program that he devoted so much time and energy in and coaches who admired his attitude and contagious enthusiasm.
The Barker/Royalton-Hartland varsity and junior varsity football programs as well as Barker-Lyndonville (Bar-Lyn) — a youth football feeder program for the district — is shocked and saddened by the loss this week of Tyler Miller, just 14, who died on Saturday.
The son of Bar-Lyn football coach Jeff Miller and an assistant coach on his father's 12-13-year-old team, Miller, a member of the Barker/Roy-Hart JV football team, loved football as much as any teenager possibly could.
“The whole program is feeling really sad. Tyler was just great kid with a passion about football,” said Barker/Roy-Hart varsity coach Bill Bruning on Monday.
“His dad's been coaching in Bar-Lyn for a lot of years and this year, Tyler served as his defensive coordinator, helping him out. I know from experience that Tyler would leave JV football practice then go to his dad's practice and help his dad out.
“The whole program, coaches, players, everyone is having a tough time with this, but we're all supporting each other and leaning on each other — the kids are leaning on the coaches and the coaches are leaning on the players — to help us get through this.”
Barker varsity golf coach Tim Daly said he coached Tyler on the Barker boys modified basketball team as a seventh grader. Miller had recently begun his freshman school year at Barker.
“Tyler was a great kid. This is very tragic. He was such an energetic kid. I remember seeing him in the high school hallways and whenever I passed him, he always gave me a high five,” Daly said.