UPPER CHICHESTER — John Millison's philosophy when it comes to his free time is rather simple.
Well, OK, so Millison doesn't really have much of it, but there's a reason for that.
"I like keeping myself busy,' Millison said. "It keeps me out of trouble. I just feel better about myself if I'm doing something, rather than just standing around.'
Oh, it's probably safe to say that the Chichester senior safety/linebacker keeps himself kind of busy. In his first year as a starter for the Eagles (4-6), Millison has recorded 29 tackles with an interception, a defensive touchdown and four fumble recoveries, but it's the juggling act that he performs on a daily basis that's most impressive about him.
"I'm in the chorus, men's choir and I help out with the play. I do stage crew,' Millison said. "I'm in five honors societies. Spanish, Rho-Kappa Social Studies, Math and Science, National and Music.'
Got all that?
There's no word on whether Millison worked out a special deal with anyone to be given more hours in a day than anybody else. He estimates that he blocks off about seven hours to sleep every day, but if that's the case, those other 17 hours are jam-packed. Millison bounced around early in his career from tight end to quarterback — he's Chichester's No. 2 option under center behind Duffy Gilhool — but has thrived in his first year as the starter. Admittedly, though, that increased role has made him have to continue juggling his ridiculously busy schedule.
"It's been a big change,' Millison said with a smile. "I'm more involved now. It's getting a little bit tougher to balance everything out now. It's more of a commitment, so when I get home at night, I'm dead.'
The toughest part of it all, though, is balancing chorus, stage crew, football, baseball (he's a pitcher and first baseman), honor societies and the need to get it done in the classroom. But just like everything else, Millison gets the job done with ease. He's rated the No. 9 student in Chichester's senior class of 212 students with a whopping 4.89 grade-point average. That's an incredible academic performance for anyone, but for a guy whose motor is apparently never stopping? Seems downright impossible.
"I've just got to manage my time as best as I can,' Millison said. "I get home from practice, get settled down and get ready to do homework. Time management is the hardest thing. It's just nonstop.'
He'll get home a little earlier than usual Thursday after Chichester travels to rival Sun Valley (2-9) at 10:30 a.m. in the Turkey Bowl. Millison has seen some time in two previous dates with the Vanguards, who hold a 25-20 series edge and have won six of the past seven games over the Eagles. However, he's never been front and center against Sun Valley, so his first and final close-up will be extra sweet for him.
"It's going to be a good way to end the career. It's going to be a big game and this is everything that it's been building up to for three years,' said Millison, who plans to study physical therapy at the University of Pittsburgh.
"It's always my favorite game,' Millison added. "I used to come to these games when I was younger and I always used to dream about playing in these games. It's going to be really cool. When you're younger, you keep hearing about Chi pride and now you actually know what it means.'
Sure, but there's a lot for Millison to be proud about, too.