Mitchell shines even while sharing time

Published 3:09 pm Wednesday, September 7, 2011

With all the talented players in the Maplesville offensive backfield, it might seem hard to stand out.

Damian Mitchell did just that in last week’s 40-6 win over Keith, rushing for 90 yards and three touchdowns on 10 carries and earning The Clanton Advertiser’s Player of the Week honor.

Mitchell, a sophomore, continues to progress since his first varsity season, 2010, when he earned a starting spot as a freshman.

“He’s matured,” MHS coach Brent Hubbert said. “He’s gotten a little bigger. He’s football smart—a very intelligent kid.”

But Mitchell didn’t carry the football much last season as the Red Devils often used a one-back offensive formation with star senior Hunter McCay.

And this year, the speedy Mitchell is sharing the load with at least four others: Brintain Hill, Cameron Morrow, Demetrius Parker and Jared White.

A player of Mitchell’s caliber should get frustrated in such a logjam at the running back position, right?

Not at all. In fact, the unselfishness of the MHS runners is representative of a group that knows it takes it a team-first attitude to achieve their goals expected of a program that has enjoyed so much playoff success.

Instead of relying on coaches to settle disputes over playing time, the Devils were given the responsibility to substitute themselves in and out of the two backfield positions.

“A coach has never sent one in or taken one out,” Hubbert said. “We’ve told them, ‘You’re all as good as another one. Just make sure there’s 11 out on the field.’ They take care of that themselves.”

Mitchell also starts at free safety on the MHS defense and returns kicks and punts.

Honorable mention

•Keandre Binion, Chilton Co.

•Tre Bryant, Jemison

•Torrey Green, Billingsley

•Will Hamby, Chilton Christian

•T.J. Ray, Verbena

•Tyler Smith, Isabella

•Dalton Turner, Thorsby