Coming into this season, people across the state knew Millennium was still young and would have some work to do to continue improving. Often teams set goals to achieve, for Millennium, it's trying to be 1-0 every week.
“1-0, we gotta be 1-0 in every little thing we do,” said sophomore running back Zues Pinder. “We need to be great at the little things and win every single battle we face.”
This philosophy isn’t a new one for the Tigers, though. Head coach Lamar Early has been preaching this to his team for a while now. So far this season it has been paying off as Millennium has found itself with three wins already this year compared to last year, when it was only able to rack up two total wins as a team all season.
Execution is the main focal point for this young Millennium program.
“Execution is key at the end of the day because that determines if you are going to win or lose,” said Early.
Up to this point, the execution has been there for a team full of younger players. The Tigers have been able to keep games against tough opponents like Horizon and Centennial to just one score.
Getting players to buy in and execute isn’t easy, but the Tigers know they have the support and advice of their coach.
“Coach Early is the heart and soul of this program, he is a great coach that pushes this team to its limits,” said Pinder.
Early is still somewhat new in the Millenium pond but is already making a name for himself in the division.
After 14 years at Agua Fria, Early was offered the head coaching job at Millennium back in 2017 and decided to join on. He not only switched teams though, he also switched divisions when he took the job at Millenium.
Despite a tougher schedule, coach Early’s main focus remains set on his players at all times.
“He takes care of us on and off the field, he’s always trying to help us whether we’re on the field or not and that means a lot to everyone,” said junior Xavier Sanchez. “He has a big impact on our team and pushes everyone and makes sure we are on the right track both on and off the field.”
It’s this style of coaching that allows his players to buy into the program at Millennium. The Tigers know they have a coach that has a long standing reputation in the valley and they work hard week in and week out to make him proud.
After suffering a two point loss to Sunrise Mountain the Tigers will have to hit the drawing board for their next game on Oct. 22. Early is still focused on the team, though, and what has he been most impressed with?
“Strongest part of our game is our unity, they're competing and giving us a chance in games.”