Mitchell beat out some good competition from all four other schools in the county, including Alexander’s Evan Wood, Douglas County’s Ellis Richardson, Lithia Springs’ Joseph Ross, and New Manchester’s Mundarius Wright.
Mitchell was unstoppable on the field in 2012, amassing 1,844 yards on 311 carries. The star running back not only showed consistency all year long, but he also had several individual feats including two 200-yard performances, one against Osborne and the other against Johnson-Savannah in the state playoffs, and a 300-yard game, against Rockmart. Mitchell found the end zone a county high 18 times.
“Our offense went as Tre went,” said CHHS Head Coach Geoff Pastrick. “If Tre had a good game, we had a pretty good game. If Tre didn’t have a good game, we struggled a little bit. But Tre not having a good game was maybe 120-yards.”
Behind Mitchell, the Panthers finished the regular season at 5-5, and made the state playoffs for the first time since 2009. In the Playoffs, Mitchell did not slow down, amassing one of his 200-yard games. However, Chapel Hill lost the first round contest to Johnson-Savannah, 32-23.
Patrick called Mitchell a “leader by example” this season, where he showed commitment in both the weight room, and the community. His performance this season did not go unnoticed, and he is currently being recruited by West Georgia, LaGrange, and Mercer University. He holds a 2.87 GPA.
Several other Howard Thompson Award nominees had top-notch performances in 2012.
Alexander’s Wood was a threat on offense and defense. As a QB, Wood rushed for 315 yards and passed for another 130. On defense he really stood out, compiling 49 tackles, 2.5 sacks, three blocked passes, and one fumble recovery. He excelled in the classroom with a 4.0 GPA, and is a Superintendent Scholar, a Georgia Merit Scholar, and a National Honor Society member.
“In the classroom, he is not a guy that worries what everybody does,” said AHS Head Coach Matt Combs. “He beats to his own drum and he’s very happy with it.”
Douglas County’s Richardson put up excellent numbers at quarterback. He posted 1,610 passing yards and 485 rushing yards. He also had a 3.1 GPA and scored a 1388 on his SAT.
“Ellis was one of those kids that kind of led the herd,” said DCHS Head Coach Jason Respert. “When you get in tough situations, you need a tough kid to stand up and kind of calm the storm a little bit and Ellis was that for our team.”
Ross, from Lithia Springs, was a standout on the defensive side of the ball this season. He recorded a county high 119 tackles in 2012, to go with his 82 last season. He also had five forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, two blocked punts, three onside recoveries, seven sacks, and 36 tackles for a loss. He excelled in the weight room, posting a 280-pound bench press, 425-pound squad, 260-pound power clean, and 610-pound deadlift. Ross also had a 3.12 GPA.
“Joe has a tremendous attitude and work ethic,” said LSHS Head Coach Scott Dean. “He plays with a warrior spirit, and was a statistical, emotional, and physical lead of our football team.”
New Manchester nominated Wright, a middle linebacker who recorded 98 tackles this season. He also had two sacks, six tackles for a loss, four forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries. Wright had the second highest GPA of all nominees at 3.52
“Mundarius has possessed tremendous leadership, character, and pride over the last two years while we have started the program from the ground,” said NMHS Head Coach Rob Cleveland. “He led or defensive statistically in almost every category and for the second straight year was named Team Captain by his peers.”
About the Award
The Howard Thompson Award was named after the man who brought football to Douglas County in 1924 and then later was responsible for helping Douglas County High School get an athletic field.
Past winners are a virtual who’s who of local high school sports and include last year’s winner Dempsey Abernathy, a current NFL player, Mike Tolbert (2003), and even the current Lithia Springs head coach, Scott Dean (1989).
To receiver the award a student-athlete must be a senior, must be in good academic standing, show a superior athletic performance, possess outstanding leadership abilities, and show good moral character.