By TJ Millman
With football season only a month away, the Milford Football Hall of Fame has announced the newest members to join its ranks. Unlike past years, where individuals have been named based on their individual achievements, this year’s class is all about teamwork. Rather than induct individual players, this year the committee decided to induct the entire 2008 State Championship Team as a whole.
Turning the clock back ten years to where it all went down, the ’08 team was the first Milford football team to make the state tournament in 34 years. The Bucs made the most of their opportunity, smashing Wilmington Friends School by a final score of 45-14, and then went up to Delaware State University to take on Laurel in the state final.
As they always do, Milford fans packed the Del State bleachers, and the Buc’s crowd was relentless. In his post-game interview, Milford Head Coach Mike Tkach was quick to point out the level of community and fan involvement.
“The number of people that were there supporting us was just unbelievable,” Tkach said. “It was such a neat atmosphere. Laurel’s crowd was loud at times, but when you looked on our side, it was jam packed and really loud.”
The community of Milford bought in early that year, and 2010 grad and starting center Zach Gonzalez remembers just how important the city of Milford was in that championship season.
“That year was just different than any other. We knew how good we were, and we believed in each other, but it was crazy how much other people believed in us. Our games were standing room all the way around the perimeter of the field…I’m pretty sure the whole town of Milford was coming out and supporting us. Having an entire town rally around you like that, it just makes you play that much harder. We had so much behind us that year that I don’t think anyone could have stopped us,” Gonzalez said.
The championship game went off without a hitch, with Milford winning by a final score of 20-0, and just like that history was made. Milford running back Brandon Legrand finished that game with 225 yard and 2 touchdowns, and Milford’s defense put up ridiculous numbers in the shutout as well. Jason Kollock led the team with 21 tackles and a sack, Alex Bell added 11 tackles and a sack, and Chris Drummond had 10 tackles and a sack. Ryan Deeney, Ryan Mortimer, and Jerrell Allen also had sacks as well. Quarterback Marques Jones finished with 49 rushing yards as well a crucial late game interception in the end zone with 11 minutes left on the clock.
The ’08 team is going to be inducted the same way that they won a championship… together.
“We were a unit on and off the field. We had a huge group of seniors who lived and breathed football, and they unified our team. Every guy out there had a role to play, and we did it for each other. That’s what made that team so special,” Gonzalez said.
Even though the team will be going into the Hall as one, there are still moments and individuals who made that season what it was. Over the new few weeks, leading up to the fall sports season, we are going to be running back a few of those moments and talking with guys from the team to see them ten years after they brought the town a title.
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