TRINITY — It’s tough setting up any type of district championship match-up in high school football, nonetheless predicting whom it might come down to.
For this season, the 6A-6 title comes down to Mitchell versus Land O’ Lakes.
When many came into the 2018 season, Mitchell’s football team wasn’t predicted to remain on the steady track of success it’s seen over the previous three seasons. Three consecutive district championships seemed like it would wither away with the losses of key players like Mychael Hamilton, Jakob Mattos and a host of others.
Instead, the Mustangs have chugged along behind a suffocating defense and a sound ground attack, led by cornerback-turned-quarterback Kymmani King and running back Tyler Williams, who has come onto the scene and become one of Pasco County’s top rushers.
King has had to slowly develop into his own at the signal caller position and being tutored by one of the school’s greats helps. Former Mitchell quarterback Tate Humphrey, who is now the team’s quarterbacks coach, has mentored King and helped him see some of the things he has seen during his time as a Mustang. King has thrown for 547 yards and five touchdowns through eight games.
Williams wasn’t so much of a secret coming out of the summer, but not many expected the type of production he has churned out so far this season. The speedster rushed for 230 yards against Sunlake in a dominating 35-0 win, including touchdowns runs of 88 and 97 yards. Williams has rushed for 1,170 yards and scored 20 touchdowns so far for Mitchell (6-2).
Both will need to come up huge this Friday against a Land O’ Lakes group that all season long has surprised folks at every turn. The Gators, whom were just 3-7 a year ago, are back to playing competitive football under first-year head coach Chad Walker. Mitchell coach Andy Schmitz acknowledged that the Gators gave some nice things this season.
“I know (Land O’ Lakes) has done some good things over there and they’ve started turning it around, but we won’t start getting into talking about them until tomorrow,” Schmitz said. “We weren’t looking past Sunlake at all.”