By Jonathan Kleppinger
2:44 PM EST, February 13, 2013
Sam Miller fulfilled a lifelong dream last week as he officially signed to play soccer at the University of Kentucky.
Miller is only the second East Jessamine boys’ soccer player to compete at the NCAA Division I level, joining 2002 graduate Jacob Isenhour, who played at Western Kentucky University.
“I chose UK because I've looked up at not only the soccer program but the university as a whole ever sense I was a little kid,” Miller said.
“Also I've always wanted to go to a bigger university.”
Miller scored 37 goals and tallied 15 assists during his freshman through junior years at East; a torn ACL in August 2012 kept him off the pitch for his senior year. He led the team in scoring his sophomore and junior years, tying with brother Cam for that title his sophomore year.
“For my previous teams, I do whatever that gives my team the best chance to win,” Miller said. “It just so happens that my role has always been scoring. My role for UK is ambiguous but I am planning on doing whatever is needed to help my team get the W.”
Local and regional soccer leagues also gave Miller a lot of experience. He started playing in Jessamine Youth Soccer Association at age 4 and moved up to Bluegrass Soccer Club and then Lexington Futbol Club at age 12. Miller credited LFC coaches Mike Donnelly, Jonathan Kinchloe and Matt Vogel along with former East High coach Tom Morgan for his development through the years.
“They have all contributed to player and person I am today,” he said.
Miller said he hopes to be back to 100 percent by June and ready for his freshman season at UK.
"If you did not get the chance to see Sam Miller play soccer this past season, then come to a UK game,” Vogel said, “because the best of Sam Miller is yet to come.”
UK’s men’s soccer team went 10-9-2 last year, losing to 19th-ranked Xavier 1-0 in the first round of the NCAA tournament.