TRINITY — Mitchell’s football team wasn’t supposed to get as far as they did this 2018 season, but they overcame the odds and adversity to reach the Class 6A playoffs again anyways.
Along with qualifying for the playoffs, the Mustangs were able to win a fourth consecutive district championship and for this Mitchell senior class, it was still another special year in the books. Mitchell’s 30-21 loss to Lake Weir in the Class 6A, Region 2, quarterfinal last week ended the Mustangs’ season and a senior class that’s been to the playoffs all four years of high school.
Though last season the Mustangs were able to win their opening round playoff game against Chamberlain, 2017’s team had the likes of seniors dotted along the roster from Mychael Hamilton to Jakob Mattos to Adam Rodgers. That group was very special.
Mitchell, which finishes this season at 8-3, couldn’t find that same chemistry on the offensive end they had last year but to be fair, this team overachieved nonetheless. Cornerback-turned-quarterback Kymmani King took over the reins on offense and was able to continue guiding Coach Andy Schmitz’s system, throwing for nearly 800 yards and nine touchdowns.
One of the surprises out of Pasco County was the play of junior running back Tyler Williams, who rushed for over 1,600 yards. Williams became the every-down back the Mustangs needed on offense and became the team’s top threat offensively. The tailback will return next season with aspirations to rush for over 2,000 yards on the ground.
Two players from this 4-year run that will be sorely missed are linebacker Nick Ferrini and defensive end Dominic Marino, whom both were the bookends for Mitchell defensive coordinator Justin Fenton’s defense. Both Ferrini and Marino were 3-year starters on Fenton’s defense and made impacts almost immediately when they came onto the varsity level in 2016.
The group of King, Ferrini, Marino and other seniors will be missed, but Mitchell won’t be counted out in 2019 as they’ve proven already that there’s no rebuilding but reloading the program.