From Alaska To Lower 48

By Jeremy McDonald

SALEM, Ore.–  This time last year McKay junior Skye Miller was playing up in Anchorage, Alaska for East Anchroage, helping the Thunderbirds to a 13-11 record her sophomore year last season.

Fast forward nearly a year, Miller’s down in the Lower 48 preparing for her first-year playing for a Lady Scots program on the up-and-up under second-year Head Coach Jim White.

“It didn’t impact me that hard, but it’s definitely different,” said the five-foot-eleven ballplayer.  “I’m just going to do that best that I can every game, trying to help our team win.  I can do my best to push them, help them get better every day they show up to practice.”

White mentioned how hard she passes the ball, coming in almost like a pitcher sending in a fastball down the pipe to the catcher, but the longtime coach likes how she gets her teammates involved around her the little bit she has been around the team to this point.

Miller (right) dribbling alongside Autum Allen (left) during the start of Monday’s practice (Picture By Jeremy McDonald)

“We haven’t played much with her except three-or-four games in the summer before she went back up to Alaska, we’ve been practicing and conditioning,” said White. “We haven’t really played with each other yet.  She can pass the ball hard, some kids aren’t use to catching the ball.  She’s a team player first.  She likes to pass, if she could take the ball to the hole more she’ll be pretty good.”

“She’s a good team player looking to get her teammates involved, they just have to learn to play with her.”

The mechanics are there.  Dribbling, strong.  Passes as mentioned, excellent.  Shooting, solid.  Could be a good replacement for a Leva Mike who recently graduated and is now at Chemeketa Community College as a freshman this Winter.

Miller joins Araya Allen, the lone returning starter, from a McKay team that went 8-16 and 3-11 in the Mountain Valley Conference with a cast around her and Miller that includes Autumn Allen, Cheyenne Allmond, Cynthia Lor.

“We control what we can control.  I think we can be pretty good, but it’s totally up to them.  We’ll compete,” said White. “Can we get eight wins this year?  I don’t know.  We’re looking forward towards North Salem, see what happens there and move on.”

Monday evening’s practice was a tough one, with three-, four girls out due to conferences or a concussion, the Varsity squad were mentally challenged to step it up short-handed during the practice being short-handed

But as the adversity presented itself, White’s interested to see how his team responds Tuesday with December 6’s game against the Vikings right around the corner.

“We’ll find out tomorrow how good it is,” said White of Monday’s practice.  “Obviously we’re short some players with conferences and stuff, the importance of having everyone at practice and getting some good reps, but the more tired you get and more sloppy we get too.  We’ll find out if it’s mental if they come out tomorrow saying ‘we can do better’.  We’ll see tomorrow.”

Photos By Jeremy McDonald

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