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Spring football | Mitchell

Toughness no longer a worry for young Mitchell QB

TRINITY — He has the name, the tight spiral and the look of a promising young passer.

He was eager to show what he learned this spring as he guided both Mitchell teams Tuesday in an intrasquad scrimmage, throwing for 127 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

The defenses he faced were undeterred by his tiny teenage frame and his bright red jersey. They hit him often and they hit him hard despite the fact that he is slated to be the starting quarterback this fall.

Cody Van De Boe, a junior-to-be, answered a lot of questions Tuesday night. Certainly toughness is no longer one of them.

"He can take a hit," Mitchell linebacker Dominick Booth said.

Mustangs coach Scott Schmitz identified Van De Boe — 5 feet 8, 155 pounds — as the replacement for the talented Tate Humphrey after the team finished 5-5 last season.

Van De Boe will be expected to help make up many of the 1,400 all-purpose yards and 14 touchdowns Humphrey racked up while the Mustangs averaged 33.7 points per game.

Van De Boe's toughness won't be an issue, but it is clear he needs to absorb more of the offense during the summer after dropping several snaps and leaning on instruction during the scrimmage.

Schmitz made Van De Boe's life a little more challenging by reverting to the wing-T, abandoning the vaunted spread offense the sophomore learned as the starting junior varsity quarterback last fall.

"We put in a lot in two weeks," Van De Boe said. "Varsity is just another level. It's different, but I'm adjusting."

Schmitz told his players after the scrimmage that they still had plenty of work to do to get ready for the fall, but he was happy overall with the offensive progression.

How much more the offense advances will hinge greatly on Van De Boe. So far, he seems to have everyone's support.

"I've played with him for a long time on JV and in his back yard," running back Ricky Trinidad said. "He's showing me in the locker room and in practice. If we're not giving 110 percent, he'll let us know."

That's a big part of it for Schmitz as well.

"Sometimes as a quarterback you want to be liked, but you might have to get in a friend's face," he said. "That can be a tough job, but it's a job I want him to do."

Izzy Gould can be reached at

izzygould@gmail.com or

(727) 580-5315.

Toughness no longer a worry for young Mitchell QB 05/29/08 [Last modified: Thursday, May 29, 2008 11:05pm]
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