Tyler Miller-Jones is excelling on Florida’s football fields.
The junior at Eastside High School in Gainesville scored 31 goals and 14 assists for the 20-6 Rams, who recently reached their third straight regional final. Miller-Jones, a forward, was named co-Small School Player of the Year in boys football by The Gainesville Sun.
It should be noted Miller-Jones is the son of Darren Jones and Gainesville judge Susan Miller-Jones, the daughter of Madge Miller (deceased) and Beach Bay resident Alfredo Miller. He is the great grandson of Herbert Stewart of Bodden Town. His great grandmother is Violet Grace Whittaker and his step grandfather is Albert Whittaker.
Miller-Jones had seven goals in the school’s playoffs this year. He had the winning goal in a 1-0 victory over Keystone Heights in the district final and had Eastside’s only goal in their 2-1 defeat to Orlando Bishop Moore in the regional title game. His coach Ron Messick said Miller-Jones is an exceptional scorer.
“To explain how important MJ is to our success is really summed up by the numbers,” Messick said. “He scored in 19 of 21 games he played in, and out of the five games he missed, we lost three. He also scored seven goals from the district championship to our regional final. He was vital and dominating. He has the ability to take over a game and win it.”
Miller-Jones said he would like to take the Rams a step further in his senior season.
“It has been hard becoming district champions and getting in the elite eight three years in a row,” he said. “Hopefully, I can break that streak as a senior and captain and lead my team to a final four and possibly a state championship.
“My mom used to teach me a quote from Sir Winston Churchill that says, ‘History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.’ I’ve always kept that close to my heart, trying to prove everyone that I come to compete in everything I do.”