Milford football players take it to the next level

Ethan Groh, Staff Writer

Senior year is full of many lasts. For some, it’s the last days of school, the last concert or performance, or even the last game. But for some lucky people, their last doesn’t happen in high school. These athletes or performers have worked their tails off to get to the point they are today. For two senior football players, their journeys’ began in elementary school. Carson Chamberlain and Billy Sternberg started playing football with the Milford Mustangs youth team when they were in grade school. But these two had a very different start to their football careers.

Chamberlain started football when he was just seven years old. Like many young kids, some parents get them involved in sports to keep them occupied. Chamberlain liked the game, but wasn’t really into it at the time, and really just wanted to hang out with his friends. As time went on his love for the game grew.

For Sternberg, on the other hand, it was love at first sight. Growing up in an athletic family, Sternberg played sports pretty much his entire life, but found a love for football at a young age. For the majority of his career, he played one of the most important positions on the field– Quarterback— the leader on and off the field and the man to go to for questions about plays. It’s not an easy task, but if anybody could do it, it was Sternberg.

The two of them played together for most of their Mustang careers, which became an advantage for them when it came to playing in high school. Having chemistry with your players is very important to building a successful program. Not only do you get better as a team, but you have fun while doing it.

For his whole career, Chamberlain bounced around in terms of positions on the offensive line. He was always a good-sized kid at 5’10 and 185 pounds, so playing offensive line was never an issue. But he was undersized compared to the other linemen. He knew he had to work hard to gain weight if we wanted a starting spot his senior year. He put in the work and put in the hours to put on the size he wanted. In football, you have to be able to make changes when it comes to positions on the fly.

Chamberlain passed this test with flying colors. He made the switch from one side of the line of scrimmage to the other. Defensive end was a newer position for him, and did very well right off the bat.

Senior Max Wilkerson was impressed on how well his teammate made the switch. He said, “If anybody could make that change and do that well, it would be him.” Chamberlain finished his senior year with 46 tackles, five sacks and one fumble recovery and was voted All Lakes Valley Conference. With an unsure path, he finished his high school career the right way.

Sternberg has been a quarterback for the majority of his Milford career. He has led every team he’s been on in a positive way that has led to success. Being a quarterback is no easy task though. The long hours studying film, being in the weight room every day and long days in the summer are only a small portion of the responsibilities a quarterback takes on. He also had to work his way up to the top, which is no easy task.

Sternberg was pulled up to varsity his sophomore year to back up Senior Hunter Pillera, which was difficult because he was inexperienced at that level. But Sternberg took this challenge head on and took it like a champ.

His senior year he led the Mavs this past season to a 7-3 record while throwing for 1,300 yards and 12 touchdowns as well as rushing for over 500 yards and five touchdowns. Unfortunately, his season was cut short due to injury, but still had a phenomenal senior campaign.

These two guys have put in the hours and given the blood, sweat and tears it takes to play at the next level. Chamberlain received an offer from Alma College to play football next year. After a great visit and talked with the coaches, Chamberlain knew Alma was the right fit for him. “My dream is to play college ball. I didn’t care where, as long as it was the right fit,” said Chamberlain. He has found his new home for the next four years and hopes to have as much success as he did his senior year.

Sternberg also found the right fit at Hope College, where he will continue his success at the next level. He has a lot of work to do if he wants to play Quarterback, and will have to climb his way to the top. He stated, “…I hope to work my way up the same way I did here.” But if anybody can do it, he can. The future is bright for these two and will continue to keep the Milford legacy strong.