Bolton & Jole: Taking on the World Together

Bolton+Howes+15+%26+Jole+Miller+15+are+united+by+their+beards%2C+position+on+the+football+field+and+dedication+to+faith.+Photo+by+Anders+Voss+16

Bolton Howes ’15 & Jole Miller ’15 are united by their beards, position on the football field and dedication to faith. Photo by Anders Voss ’16

Bolton Howes '15 & Jole Miller '15 are united by their beards, position on the football field and dedication to faith. Photo by Anders Voss '16
Bolton Howes ’15 & Jole Miller ’15 are united by their beards, position on the football field and dedication to faith. Photo by Anders Voss ’16

Scots’ Senior Defensive Backs Jole Miller and Bolton Howes entered the 2014 Football season with high expectations. Both were chosen as preseason All-Americans, Miller earning a first team honor and Howes getting a second team nod.

Not even their past individual success could have prepared them for what came next. Macalester steamrolled the Midwest Conference by winning all five division games and earning a berth in the national postseason tournament.

Led by its defense, whose 18.7 points per game allowed was third best in the MWC, the Scots captured their first conference title in nearly 70 years.

“Winning conference was an amazing experience,” said Miller, who finished second on the team with 80 tackles. “Most people did not expect us to compete at the level we did. It was awesome being the surprise team.”

Though the Scots’ play might have surprised their fans, Howes already knew what his team was capable of, especially defensively. Many of Macalester’s defensive starters have already spent some years in the program. Their familiarity with one another on the field certainly aided their performance. “The team has matured a lot over the last few years. We had a large senior class with great leaders,” said the second-year starter Howes.

That camaraderie is on display away from the football field too, as Miller and Howes have built a budding bromance. Their tight-knit relationship developed over the years, even in their last semester at school, and is now stronger than ever before. “We have a lot of the same interests and personalities, and are both really strange individuals,” said Miller. “I know I can go to him and [senior defensive tackle] Al [Morall] when I have a problem.”

Howes was less sentimental, though no less emphatic. “Beards,” he said, in reference to the sizeable scruff sported by both seniors. “It’s a key to our friendship, as is picking on Al. Also Jesus. We spend a lot of time going to church, and doing Bible studies together, which has made us very close,” he said. Both men are heavily involved with Macalester’s on-campus chapter of FCA, the Fellowship for Christian Athletes.

With graduation mere months away, both Howes and Miller have begun to prepare for their lives away from college and entrance into the mythical real world. Although they will be leaving school, neither plans to terminate their education. After completing his degree in Geology, Howes is intent on furthering his research. “I haven’t decided where yet, but after graduation I will begin my quest for a Ph.D.” he said.

Miller will be also acquire additional education next year, but his path is spiritual where Howes’ is academic. “I plan on working on staff with FCA for a couple years,” said Miller, who added that he intends to complete graduate studies as well. “I want to study Greek translation and New Testament Studies.”

After leading the Scots to the most unlikely title run in Macalester history, both Jole Miller and Bolton Howes have bright futures. Although their paths might diverge in the coming years, the two plan to remain close. Quite close. “We’re planning on living together and raising our families in the same house,” said Miller.

Last season, the chemistry between the Scots’ two senior defensive backs was a leading factor supporting one of the Midwest Conference’s best defenses. Even though their time on the football field is over, Jole Miller and Bolton Howes are just warming up.