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Fayette lineman named Mr. Football
Nov 29, 2006 12:00 am
NASHVILLE — Wade Mitchell wasn't named American General Class 1A Mr. Football Lineman on Monday. But the Friendship Christian linebacker has one thing his fellow finalists don't – one more game to play Friday.
"I'd trade Mr. Football for a state championship for my team," said Mitchell, whose 14-0 Commanders face Jackson Christian at 3:30 p.m. Friday at Middle Tennessee State's Floyd Stadium in Murfreesboro.
"I told him, 'Enjoy today and that's great but the one thing you still have is you got to play Friday'," Commander coach John McNeal said.
Fayette Academy's Cole Trim beat out Mitchell and Coalfield's Brandon Davis for the highly-coveted honored during the banquet held at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center.
"I was up against a great group of guys," Mitchell said. "They deserved it."
McNeal lobbied for Mitchell's candidacy after the 5-10, 205-pounder racked up 114 tackles during the regular season. He also averaged nearly 40 yards per punt. He has maintained that pace during the playoffs as he intercepted a pass in last Friday's semifinal win over Hampton. But only regular-season statistics were factored into the selection.
"It's a big honor," said McNeal, who saw former quarterback Lee Sweeney and Michael Wheeler (Mitchell's predecessor at middle linebacker) as Mr. Football Back and Lineman finalists, respectively, in 2004). We've been fortunate... It's good for the school. It's good for these young men who work hard to get a little recognition.
"But the final three is really big considering how many across the board are being nominated. We're real proud of him and I know his parents are. I told him as we were walking off we still have a big task ahead of us, and that's playing Friday."
Sports Editor Andy Reed can be reached at 444-3952 ext. 17 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.