By Kevin Eickman
The Milford 12th Man Gridiron Club has announced their inductees for the the class of 2016 . This year’s class will include Bill Strickland, Jason Kollock, Clay Turner and Chris Drummond.
While the temperature may have been pushing 100 degrees this weekend, it was the perfect time to look back to the fall of 2008. That was the magical year which witnessed the Milford Buccaneers claim their first and only Division II State Championship in football. With the heat and humidity, it was the perfect time to watch the video of that title game and look back on that special team. Both Jason Kollock and Chris Drummond were key members of that squad, both highly worthy of being recognized as Milford Hall of Famers.
The video is not needed to remember what Drummond could do on the field. There is a play that has been etched in the memories of Milford football fans since it happened. Things were not going well for Milford at the start of the title game. Having taken advantage of a Milford fumble on the games opening drive, the Laurel Bulldogs were gashing the Milford defense on the ground, something that rarely happened to that Buccaneer team. It was 4th and 1 for Laurel at the Milford 16 yard line and they were going for it. Laurel handed the ball to 255 fullback Tyler West; right there to greet him was Drummond. When Drummond took hold of West, that was it. Drummond stopped him in his tracks and the Milford defense held. Laurel would not get that close to the end zone again.
When I asked Drummond about the play, his answer was exactly what those that know him would expect him to say. “I honestly don’t even remember that. All I remember was that the defense was solid all night,” Drummond stated. “When someone on our defense made a tackle, it was because everyone else was doing their job. It was always about doing what you were supposed to do to get the job done.”
A 2009 graduate of Milford, Drummond also had an interesting take on being selected to the Hall of Fame. “While I’m obviously honored and humbled by the selection, one of the thoughts that comes to mind is how long ago that was,” Drummond said. “It honestly seems like just yesterday that we were all part of that team, life can pass by pretty quickly.”
While speaking about the team, Drummond indicated that while winning was fun, there was much more to it than that. “It was really about being together, it was about spending all that time with each other. Whether it was going to dinner or just hanging out, it was always about spending time with guys that really liked each other. Most of us had been playing together since Pop Warner,” commented Drummond. “I believe it was our togetherness, our brotherhood that translated to our play on the field.”
Drummond attributes a lot of his success to Dr. David Carter, who was an assistant coach for the Buccaneers. “When Coach Carter came into the district, he really began to get me focused. He explained to me that there was more to life than just sports, it was about making myself a complete person,” Drummond said. “He made me understand that how I conducted myself on and off the field, would be the things that define me. He really got me focused.”
Dr. Carter had a great deal to say about Drummond, offering high praise for him. “Chris was easily the best defensive lineman to play for me in all my years of coaching. He was a tough nosed, technique sound, dependable leader on the field that could change the momentum and outcome of a game whenever he wanted,” Dr. Carter said. “There were several good players to come through Milford when I was coaching there that believed in the wight room, conditioning, prayer and hard work. Chris was one of the catalysts, he started working out with the high school guys when he was in eighth grade. Because of that hard work he earned a starting spot on the defensive line as a freshman.”
While Drummond would be named the Delaware Defensive Player of The Year, he was an outstanding fullback on offense as well; a huge part of the overpowering Milford running game. “As a coach there are players that you always want to be on the field, because you can fly around on the defensive side of the ball. You could ask any player on that defense who would you want your defensive tackle to be and the would answer Chris,” Dr. Carter stated. “You could also ask quarterback Marques Jones and running back Brandon LeGrand who would they want as their fullback and they would give you the same answer.”
Drummond was 1st team All-Henlopen once and 2nd team twice. He was also 1st team All-State and a Blue-Gold player. Drummond was also a force on the wrestling mat as well, winning the State Title at 215 pounds and being named a two time All-American. Drummond still lives in Milford and works for NKS distributors.
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