Around the North Suncoast in 30 days
A daily spring preview of every football program on the North Suncoast.
Coach: Scott Schmitz, below (seventh season, 34-46)
Last season: 5-5
District: Class 5A-5 (Gaither, Wharton, Wesley Chapel)
Key losses: QB/DB Tate Humphrey, WR/DB Tyrone Hendrix, WR/LB Jesse Dustin, LB Niko Hall, RB/LB Colby Tuttle, WR/DL Cameron Caldwell.
Who's back: QB Cody Vandeboe, OL Dominick Booth, RB Rickey Trinidad, OL Tony Galasso
What's new: Mitchell will revert to a hybrid of the Wing-T after leaning on the vaunted spread offense for a couple of seasons. Vandeboe steps in at quarterback, coming up from junior varsity. Schmitz described him as smart and tough. Vandeboe has a handle on the offense, and his progression this spring has been promising. Defensively, Mitchell will remain relatively the same, using its stock 50 defense.
Audible: The Mustangs lost 21 seniors, highlighted by the talented passing duo of Humphrey and Hendrix. Schmitz believes the Mustangs' strength is on the offensive line, where there are several experienced players. "I think we have several players who have the talent to play at the varsity level," Schmitz said. "Until you see it, you're not sure, but the talent is there for sure."
Did you know? Beyond revamping the offense, Schmitz has stressed improvement on defense. The Mustangs finished a disappointing 5-5, considering they averaged 33.7 points per game with a 1,400-yard passer in Humphrey. Spring practice has been a time to stress being aggressive, with everyone running to the ball to make tackles. So far, Mitchell's players are listening.
Izzy Gould, Times staff writer
Spring scrimmage: Tuesday, 7 p.m.
Sept. 5 at Gulf
Sept. 12 vs. Zephyrhills
Sept. 19 at River Ridge
Oct. 3 vs. Hudson
Oct. 10 at Gaither
Oct. 16 vs. Ridgewood
Oct. 24 vs. Wharton
Oct. 31 at Clearwater Central Catholic
Nov. 7 vs. Wesley Chapel
Nov. 14 at Sunlake