Buckeye (Ariz.) Verrado High’s football community is in shock after junior wide receiver Dylan Miller was involved in a single-car accident after lifting weights at the school on late Wednesday afternoon.
Coach Tom Ward said that Miller was driving his car with two of his teammates coming out of the Verrado parking lot, hit a curb and the car flipped over, ending upside down.
Ward said that Miller, a 6-foot-5, 180-pounder who was expected to be one of the team’s core players next season, was taken to West Valley Hospital in Goodyear, where he underwent brain surgery Wednesday night.
Miller is in critical condition in ICU, Ward said.
“Dylan is a kind-hearted person,” said Jimmy Richardson, a Verrado wide receiver. “He can light up the room and make you smile, no matter the circumstances. He’s strong and a fighter.
“Most the team has been at the hospital in the past 24 hours. We’ve been there to comfort each other and his family and his friends. We’ve prayed separately and as a family, and these prayers will be answered soon.”
After a Friday morning pep assembly, Ward said the team is going to bring Miller’s No. 11 jersey to give to his parents. He said that jersey number will be retired from Verrado.
Miller caught nine passes for 150 yards and two touchdowns on this past season’s 8-3 team.
“The kids have rallied around him,” Ward said. “He’s a great kid, one of our better players. He’s one kid we were really counting on next year. He comes from a great family. When we ask kids to tow the line, he’s one of those kids. He’ll do anything you ask of him.”