SIDE VIEW: New-look Mitchell ready for 2018 season
The winds of change have been blowing for Mitchell Mountaineer football. As the start of the 2018 campaign nears, there will be new faces in new places and some old performers in their positions from previous years while others will be moving to new spots.
Gone is four-year starting quarterback Ben Young. Following Young by way of graduation were 14 other lettermen that have been an integral part of the resurgence of Mountaineer football over the past four years. Their commitment and dedication to the Mitchell football program have once again established Mountaineer football as one of the top programs in Western North Carolina.
Since the end of the 2017 season, head coach Travise Pitman has had upcoming team members hard at work in his offseason strength and conditioning program. Coach Pitman has developed a top-notch strength and conditioning program that works well in aiding his players’ development and assisting them in contributing to the success of Mountaineer football.
Although it is easy to overlook, each edition of Mountaineer football is somewhat different and has its own identity. As the 2018 season unfolds, this team will develop and take on its own look.
The 2018 team will have strengths different from previous years, and as this season unfolds, those strengths will become evident.
Going into this season, there are some known facts about this year’s team. First, there is a stable of fine running backs to build the running game with senior Landon Miller leading the way. Noah Pitman will have his debut as the quarterback and appears to be ready for an excellent career. Tyler McKinney anchors the receiving corps, and he will be joined by a deep group that will all be pushing for playing time. As in years past, this team has good speed at running back and receivers. The strength of this edition of Mountaineer football may well be its offensive and defensive lines. In fact, the men “up front” may be as big, strong and talented as the group that paved the way for the 2015 Mountaineers to advance to the state championship.
Defensively, the Mountaineers will again be solid. The front seven should again be the strength of the defense, two starters return in the secondary, the punter from last year returns, and the offseason has unveiled a kicker that has dedicated himself to being the best he can be. At a recent team camp, he was one of several bright spots.
This past week Mountaineer football took part in a Fellowship of Christian Athletes 7-on-7 at West Henderson High School. They came away with an overall record of 4-0-1. In the first game, Mitchell tied Asheville. From there they defeated Burns, West Henderson, North Buncombe and Chase. After a busy summer, the Mountaineers are ready and eagerly waiting to get the 2018 season underway. Start making your plans now to attend all games. 2018 should be another solid year of Mitchell football.
Chris Pitman gains his views from nearly 40 years of involvement with Mitchell High School athletics.