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Mitchell: Keep an eye on...

By JOHN C. COTEY

© St. Petersburg Times,
published August 30, 2001


Mitchell's first varsity season could hinge on one detail -- how well the lines play.

The Mustangs must be able to run the ball, and must stop the opposition from doing the same. Look back at the last two county schools to start programs and neither had strong lines. At Mitchell, the opposite is true. Coach Scott Schmitz loves his lines.

On offense, the backs will run behind junior center David Broughton, who Schmitz thinks will be a great player, and senior guards Jamie Downey and Ed White. On Schmitz's last team at River Ridge, both were starters.

Starting tackle Charlie Pitcock is the son of former Gulf great and USFL Tampa Bay Bandit Chuck Pitcock (voted in 1999 by the Pasco Times as the county's 22nd greatest player of all-time), and Schmitz is thrilled with football neophyte Bryan Littlejohn, an athletic 6-foot-3, 250-pounder. Juniors Cory Miller and Andrew Brougham will also see extensive playing time.

"I like our line," Schmitz said. "I really think that's the strength of our football team. Last year we were able to move the ball and move it well. We have some experience there and some size. I really think we're going to be able to move the football."

As for stopping the opposition, Schmitz is already proclaiming junior tackle Brandon Thomas to be one of the county's best. Spiro Tsagaris and Mike Desposa are smallish but prototypical nose tackles. On the ends, Joe Stinnett has nailed down one position, and Jeremy Miracle and Scott Frazier will battle for playing time.

If both units show the same ability they did last year during the junior varsity season, and carry over a spring filled with improvement, teams thinking they can muscle the young Mustangs aside could be sadly mistaken.

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