Mercer Island Islanders senior outfielder Cole Miller exudes a positive demeanor on and off the baseball diamond.
Miller, who committed to the University of Washington baseball program during his sophomore season, enjoys being the undisputed team leader of the Islanders in his final season of high school baseball this spring. The Islanders currently have an overall record of 7-6 just past the midway point of the season.
“I feel like we’ve played games where we have played really good defense or hit the ball really well. We want to put all three aspects of pitching, defense and offense together. I feel the goal for our team is to obviously make it to state (tournament) and obviously have a chance to win it all. We just want to click on all cylinders and make a nice postseason push,” Miller said.
The Islanders baseball program track record over the past several years speaks for itself. Mercer Island won the Class 3A state title in 2015 and finished in third place during the 2017 season.
“I think it gives us a lot of confidence overall as a team just having that experience in clutch and intense environments. We are used to having our backs against the wall. There are certain periods where we’ve had big comebacks. Last year against Eastside Catholic, we were basically down a touchdown (7-0 deficit), and came back to win 8-7. That was a very special moment,” Miller said.
Miller said seventh-year Mercer Island head coach Dominic Woody is one of his idols.
“I have never met someone who knows more about baseball. With his experience at all levels (Woody played minor league baseball), I really feel like he knows what he is talking about. He has shaped us not only into the players we are today but the men we are with the life lessons he has given us throughout. It is just a very special opportunity to play for him. I aspire to be like him one day,” Miller said of Woody.
Miller relishes the leadership role of mentoring the younger players on the Islanders varsity roster.
“Being an elder-statesman now and being one of the older kids on the team is a special opportunity,” he said.
Miller isn’t only a star baseball player. He dominated on the gridiron the past three seasons as wide receiver and defensive back in the fall for the Islanders football program. Choosing baseball over football in college proved to be right choice for Miller.
“I got recruited younger as a baseball player and I just didn’t see as much recruitment from football. In a way, that made the decision for me. It was hard picking baseball over football but I will have a great time doing it. I love baseball,” Miller said.