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Mitchell Mr. Football finalist
Nov 14, 2006 12:00 am
The centerpiece of Friendship Christian's rock-solid defense has been recognized as one of the top Class 1A linemen in the state.
Senior Wade Mitchell is one of three finalists for the 1A Mr. Football Lineman award, the TSSAA has announced.
Mitchell follows in the footsteps of his predecessor at middle linebacker, Michael Wheeler, who was a finalist in 2004, the same year quarterback Lee Sweeney, now a redshirt freshman at Tennessee Tech, was a finalist for Mr. Football Back.
The 5-10, 205-pounder is among the Midstate leaders in tackles with 124 and has a pair of sacks for the 11-0 Commanders, who host Gordonsville at 7 p.m. tonight in the second round of the playoffs at Pirtle Field.
"He is the heart and soul of our defense," Friendship defensive coordinator Duane Lowe said of Mitchell, who is averaging around 38 yards per punt. "He would be the first to tell you his accomplishments wouldn't be possible without the defensive linemen who keep the blockers off of him and allow him to get to the football."
Mitchell, Coalfield's Brandon Davis and Fayette Academy's Cole Trim will be listening for their name to be announced for the coveted award Nov. 27 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center.
Lowe said Mitchell doesn't fare well against a stopwatch, but has plenty of what coaches like to call "football speed".
"If you line him up on the 40-yard dash, he wouldn't blow anyone away," Lowe said. "But turn the lights on, sideline to sideline, he's as quick as anyone."
Lowe referred to a play from Davidson Academy's first play in their Week 1 game involving Bears' running back Josh Williams, who runs the 40 in 4.7 seconds and is a Division II A/AA Mr. Football Back finalist, as an example.
"He gets it to the outside and gets 40 yards downfield and Wade catches him," Lowe said. "If you get the two on the 40-yard times, Williams is going to blow him away.
"He's a gamer is what he is."
Sports Editor Andy Reed can be reached at 444-3952 ext. 17 or by e-mail at email@example.com.