Frequently Asked Questions (and Their Answers)
Summer Workouts & Camp
What is Steel Mill?
A true steel mill has several functions, among them casting liquid steel into solid forms and converting ore to iron. For Millbrook Wildcats, "Steel Mill" is our summer workout that shapes, sharpens, and strengthens players into Wildcats. While not mandatory, participation is highly recommended as preparation for the season and conditioning. For those new to Millbrook, it is an ideal opportunity to get to know the coaches and for them to get to know you. Participation is not required, but is encouraged. Participants must have an updated physical form, along with all other participation and eligibility paperwork, on file to take part in Steel Mill. The full package of participation forms is available here.
What do players need for Steel Mill?
Players wear shorts, t-shirts, and sneakers. There will be days when players wear cleats. Water is provided.
Is there a fee for summer workouts/Steel Mill?
No. If your child is eligible to participate (finished Middle School, has all paperwork submitted, and meets eligibility requirements), he can participate.
What if my child is in year-round school and doesn't finish until the end of June?
Don't worry, we always have players coming from year-round middle school on tracks that will not allow participation until after middle school ends. Rules prohibit any player from working out with a high school team until they have officially completed middle school. Upon the official completion of middle school, your player can join the Steel Mill workouts. In the meantime, you can still ensure all paperwork is complete/submitted and purchase a spirit pack.
What is the football camp in the summer, and who goes?
Football camp is for RETURNING players only (sophomores, juniors, and seniors who have been on the team from the prior year). Camps are held for several consecutive days/nights at a college within easy traveling distance from Millbrook. Past locations have been Campbell University and Appalachian State University. Players ride the bus to the campus, stay in the dorms, and have a chance for a great team-building experience.
Players will be required to submit consent forms and emergency contact information as required for school trips. Host facilities may also require additional release forms. All forms must be submitted for a player to attend. Plan for a camp fee of approximately $225. Players with financial concerns should speak confidentially with a coach. Specific details will be provided, with form links, when camp details are finalized.
Tryouts & Making the Team
How does a student become a Wildcat football player?
Tryouts take place in August. Prospective players must attend on all tryout dates. To be considered for a position on the roster, players may not have been prohibited from participation or considered ineligible due to parent or player behavior, misconduct, rules infractions, or academics. Hard work, academic excellence, commitment, and a positive attitude are among the traits found in those selected as Wildcats. Prospective players must have an updated physical form, along with all other participation and eligibility paperwork, on file to take part in Steel Mill. The full package of participation forms is here.
Does my player need football experience?
Experience is not necessary. Our coaches are skilled and experienced. They know how to work with all levels of players and foster their enthusiasm, athletic ability, and understanding of the game. Millbrook has had players hitting the gridiron for the first time in high school, as well as those who started while still in elementary school.
When do tryouts start and how long do they last?
Tryouts typically begin on or soon after August 1 and extend for a week.
What paperwork is required to tryout/play?
Athletes are required to have all necessary participation and physical forms completed prior to participation in any workouts:
Click HERE to register your player on the Millbrook Athletics Website. You can complete ALL participation forms and upload physical forms to this site.
Athletic Participation Form: completed by parent/legal custodian and athlete
North Carolina Pre-Participation Examination Form: completed by parent/legal custodian, athlete, and licensed physician
Concussion Form: completed by parent/legal custodian and athlete
North Carolina High School Athletic Association Eligibility, Consent and Release Information Form: completed by parent/legal custodian and athlete
If you are having difficulty with the registration site, you can print the 2020-2021 WCPSS Athletic Participation forms and submit them to our Athletic Trainer, Scott Lange at SaLange@wcpss.net.
Who is eligible to tryout?
Please see the NCHSAA Handbook for NC eligibility rules. In addition, our coaches have high academic expectations for all players throughout the year.
Are there size (weight, etc.) limits for players?
What if my player doesn't have a current physical completed?
Players may not participate in any workouts, practice or games without a current physical and all other paperwork on file. Many area medical practices, urgent care centers, and pharmacies offer sports physicals. OrthoNC typically offers $10 physicals at MHS in May. They generously return the $10 to our athletic department as a donation. All past and prospective (including rising Freshmen) players are welcome. Please look for an updated packet of forms here once the details are finalized.
Can a player start the season on JV and end up on Varsity?
This is possible, but not the norm.
When and how do you find out if a student made the team?
Coaches will notify players at the conclusion of tryouts if they made the team. Finalized rosters will be posted to our website approximately one week after the conclusion of tryouts.
What if a student doesn't make the team?
Coaches will provide feedback directly to individual players at the conclusion of tryouts. Players who do not make the team may wish to volunteer for a team manager position, and they can always tryout again next season.
So Now You're a Wildcat Football Player
What additional fees will I need to pay first?
Pregame meals: Teams eat together prior to every game (JV on Thursdays, Varsity on Fridays). Players are required to pay for meals by August 15. We are fortunate to have great community partners providing some help with these meals, to allow us improved affordability. Anticipate a cost of $80-$90, which covers a meal every game day. (There are no refunds for missed games/meals.)
Spirit pack: Each player is required to purchase a team spirit pack. If your player will tryout for the team, we recommend that you order your spirit pack from Johnson-Lambe in May so that it is available prior to the start of the season.
Team camp (returning players only): The cost of team camp varies by the college hosting us. Team camp fee is typically $200-250 per player. If you have financial concerns, please speak to Coach Inscore.
What equipment does the school provide for players?
Players will be provided with a helmet, shoulder pads, practice pants/jersey, game uniform, and leg pads. Varsity players do NOT take their game-day uniforms home. JV players wear their game day jersey to school on game day. All items MUST be returned at the end of the season with normal wear and tear.
Can my player use his own helmet or shoulder pads?
You may elect to provide your own helmet or shoulder pads but they must meet safety guidelines and have all current certifications. Helmets must match the color of our school-provided helmets. We will provide logo stickers and numbers that must be affixed to helmets per league rules. MHS, its coaching staff, and the school administration assume no responsibility for loss or damage to personal property used while participating in our organization.
What equipment do I need to purchase?
Protective chin strap to keep the helmet in place
Football cleats (only NAVY, WHITE or BLACK cleats are permitted)
Girdle (recommended, but not required)
What is the player package, and what is the minimum purchase?
Varsity Requirements: shorts, t-shirt or compression shirt, polo (if a returning player has a polo, he is not required to purchase another)
JV Requirements: shorts, t-shirt or compression shirt
Strongly suggested for all: girdle, cleats, socks
Where can I get spirit wear?
Our spirit wear is available through an online catalog from Johnson-Lambe. We offer windows of shopping availability rather than maintaining inventory on hand. Links, shopping passcodes, and deadlines are sent via email. Michelle Zanfardino is our Football Merchandise/Spirit Wear coordinator from the Football Club. If you have questions about orders or receiving items, please contact her.
How much time will a player get on the field?
Players are not guaranteed any minimum number of plays or playing time. Playing time is at the discretion of the coaches. If your player does not feel that he is getting enough playing time, he should discuss his concerns with the coach.
When are practices?
Once a student has made the team, practices are held after school for JV on Monday, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays (games are on Thursday evenings). For Varsity, practices are held after school on Monday through Thursday (games are on Friday evenings).
Is a player expected to be at every practice?
Practice is important. Football is a strenuous, physical sport. High school football involves complex plays, and players master them through repetition. Regular conditioning is important. Missing all or part of practice can become a safety issue for your player and others on the team. A coach can keep a player out of a game for missed practices or disciplinary reasons. Safety is our top concern, and we respect the team dynamic. Players not exhibiting a solid commitment to the team by coming to practice on time and respecting the commitment of other players and coaches may be restricted from play or removed from the team. Let your player be responsible for managing his participation, and he should let the coach know in advance if he will not be at practice.
Where are practices?
Practices are held at Millbrook High School. Players must be on time. "On time" means early, so arrive accordingly and with time to check-in.
Steel Mill: Meet on the football field by the Wildcat Den.
Tryouts and Season Practice: Most practices are held on the practice field (behind the baseball field)
Walk-Throughs: Pre-game walk-throughs are held on the football field
Can a parent/guardian watch practices?
Yes. Parents/guardians may watch from the stands, but they may not come onto the field or the sidelines. Parental coaching from the sidelines is not permitted. Practice is the time for the coaches to work with the players. If you have feedback for your player, provide it constructively, at home.
When and where are the games?
JV games are on Thursday nights, typically at 6:30 PM. Varsity games are on Friday nights, with kick-off at 7:00 PM. Please see our Google calendar for the complete game schedule which includes the locations. The schedule may change due to weather or unforeseen circumstances. JV games may not always be made-up if canceled due to rain/other circumstances.
Is there a charge to get into the game?
Yes, WCPSS sets a fee to get in all games, home and away. Most facilities ONLY take cash. If you pay at the gate for home games, MHS does not keep all of those funds. You can help MHS retain all fees, however, by purchasing a Wildcat Booster Club membership (which provides a pass for all HOME games for ALL regular season sports, depending on membership level). A family membership is a great deal and the perfect way to show your commitment to the Wildcats all year.
How do players get to away games?
Players ride the team bus to AND from away games. ALL players MUST ride the team bus back to the school after away games.
Wildcat Football Traditions & Events
What is the player cookout?
This is a team-building cookout for players in coaches in April. Millbrook Football Club provides hot dogs, buns, condiments, chips, and water for players and coaches after spring workouts. We work to schedule it to coincide with a home athletic event, so football players can show their Wildcat support for another sport and receive free admission to the game.
What is the highway clean-up?
The Millbrook Football Club participates in a highway cleanup event TWICE a year. Former Millbrook Football player, Dr. Larry Dodd, gives the Millbrook Football Club a generous donation annually once the football team confirms that the activity was completed. Players receive three (3) hours of community service for the event.
What is the Kick-Off Event?
Our Kick-Off event is a day dedicated to Millbrook Football. It includes a JV/parents field clean up, a team/coaches/families meal, a silent auction, and an information session. It's a great time to pay for meals, update your contact information, meet the coaches, and commit to the Wildcat family. The day concludes with a varsity jamboree/scrimmage.
What are the player meals?
Each game day, there is a pre-game meal served to the players. Players eat together and build camaraderie prior to competing. The JV meals are held in the Millbrook cafeteria. The Varsity meals are held at Crossroads Fellowship (players ride team buses there). We ask for volunteers at each meal to help set-up, serve, and clean-up. Volunteers will also provide desserts for each meal. Pre-season donations of cups, plates, napkins, and utensils carry us through the season.
What is Senior Night?
The last regular season home game is considered Senior Night. We celebrate our seniors during a pre-game ceremony and ask for additional help in planning as well as on the night of the event. It's a tradition that recognizes our senior players with a special send-off before their last game at home.
What is the Senior Breakfast?
Around the time of Senior Night, breakfast is served in the MHS cafeteria after Varsity film for all players and coaches to honor their senior teammates. We rely on volunteers to help with the event.
Fundraising & Opportunities to Help
What is expected of a Wildcat family?
We require commitment, courtesy, and cooperation. We expect everyone associated with the Wildcats to follow the rules, get to practice and games on time, treat everyone they encounter with respect, and remember that this is HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL. We ask that you help raise funds for the organization, so we can continue to provide everything our kids need for a safe, fun experience. We want you to recognize that volunteers are the extra component that makes our program rise above the rest, and then step-up to volunteer yourself. We want you to have fun, feel a part of a supportive community, and witness the positive academic, physical, and emotional development of our participants.
What donations do you need for dinners, post-game, and other events?
Post-Game Gatorades: Each family is asked to provide a case (24-count) of small Gatorades. Players have these on the bus ride back from away games. We collect and store these before the season begins to have throughout the season.
Post-Game Snacks: Each family is asked to provide some sort of individually wrapped (no chocolate, nothing that melts) snacks. Players have these on the bus ride back from away games. We collect and store these before the season begins to have throughout the season. Items such as packs of crackers, granola bars, protein bars, cookies, etc., are ideal. Please provide at least 24 packets.
Silent Auction Items: Our largest fundraiser of the year is a silent auction held in August. Each family should provide or solicit at least one donation for the event. Please, DO NOT PURCHASE ITEMS to donate. Ask retail businesses, service providers, and restaurants to donate!
Plates, Cups, Napkins, & Forks: we rely on donations of sturdy plates, plastic cups, napkins, and plastic forks for our pre-game meals. We collect these prior to the first game and use them throughout the year.
Desserts for the Pre-Game Meals: A sign-up for desserts (cupcakes, brownies, cookies, etc.) will be posted for providing these at the pre-game meals. These don't need to be homemade but must be delivered the day of the meal, no later than 2:45 PM. We spread the load, by asking several families to provide 2-3 dozen treats for each dinner.
How do you fund the football club activities?
We raise money via the Silent Auction, car washes, selling coupon cards, and thanks to generous donations from the community.
Doesn't the county cover the costs for sports?
The county provides very limited resources for sports. Our program relies upon fundraising from the Football Club, partnerships and generous contributions from our community friends, and Athletic Booster Club assistance.
Doesn't the Wildcat Athletic Booster Club cover the costs for football?
The Athletic Booster Club contributes to all sports at Millbrook High School. Football is an expensive sport (e.g. protective equipment, facilities, uniforms, practice equipment), and must fund a considerable portion to enable our great program's success.
Why are you constantly asking for help?
Because we need it. Football is an exhausting sport, and not just for the players. Keeping our program running is a team effort. We will expect a lot of your time, support, and resources. You will be called upon to volunteer your time, donate supplies, provide food, and raise funds. Our volunteer leaders are committed to you, and we ask for the same commitment in return.
How can I help?
You can volunteer using the season volunteer sign-up (button at the top of this page) or by talking to any Football Club board member. We can always use volunteers to help with the activities. Be sure to attend Football Club meetings as well.
Conduct, Concerns, & Communications
Do you have a code of conduct?
Yes. We expect everyone to follow the rules and act with courtesy towards their fellow Wildcat families, coaches, and volunteers, as well as toward our visitors and opponents. Understand that we have a zero-tolerance policy for actions that jeopardize the safety of any individual or our ability to provide a positive environment for Wildcat football. Failure to abide by the Code of Conduct can result in the removal of adults and any children from the program.
What if my player isn't happy?
If your player has a concern, we ask that he follow the chain of command. He should start with the coach. This is a chance for these young players to learn self-advocacy and self-sufficiency. Parents/guardians can step in, but we hope this is only after the player has initiated the conversation first.
What is the 24-Hour Rule?
Though not a hard and fast rule, this is a widely-accepted approach to athletics following a game. Basically, unless you are approaching a coach after a game to say something positive, like, "great game" or "thank you" or "that shirt looks great on you," then it's best to wait 24 hours before saying anything. Immediately after a game - win or lose - is not a time to offer advice, ask questions about your player, or suggest what might have been done differently. Let emotions simmer down, and wait for the dawn of a new day. If you still need to talk to a coach, please work with your player to be his own advocate first, and then approach with courtesy.
Of course, we accept compliments and offers for help at any time, at any level of authority.