STADIUM: Mitchell Stadium, 2323 Little Road, New Port Richey CLASS-DISTRICT: 6A-6 (with Fivay, Land O’ Lakes, Springstead, and Sunlake) COACH: Scott Schmitz (47-65, 12th season) LAST SEASON: 6-4
Trinidad getting noticed Christian Trinidad, Sr., running back For any team that boasts a running back as talented as Trinidad (785 yards, 10 TDs in eight games last season), it’s a definite plus. Bringing size to outmuscle defenders at the line of scrimmage, moves to outmaneuver them once past the hole and speed to outrun them in the open field, Trinidad is easily one of the most talented returning Pasco County backs. His first touch last season encompassed his talents. Against playoff-bound Anclote, Trinidad turned a play stuffed at the line into an electrifying 85-yard sprint that spurred the Mustangs’ impressive 6-1 start.
“I think he’s the best running back in the county,” Mitchell coach Scott Schmitz said. “There some good ones, but Christian plays a lot stronger than he looks. He’s able to make something special every time he touches the ball.” SUPPLY Offensive line Mitchell, running a Wing-T offense, needs agile, intelligent offensive linemen who understand the nuances of pulling, trapping and angle blocking. Despite losing four starters from last season, Mitchell finds a way to put together a solid unit and this year should be no different. Senior guard Jeremy Gruerio anchors a line that also features senior guard Zac Curtis, center Austin Green and sophomore strong tackle Dillon Bryant. Schmitz believes this will open holes for one of the county’s best rushing attacks. “It started as a work in progress in the spring and we got better as spring moved on,” the veteran coach said. “We moved some pieces to the point where we’re going to be. They need to be a strength, if we’re going to be a good team.” Wide receiver Receiving and Mitchell can go together in the same sentence thanks to what Schmitz believes is one of the most talented group of receivers he’s had in a while. Schmitz was able to coax 6-foot-5 Zach Rapaport — the basketball team’s starting center — to join, and following a “great spring and outstanding summer,” will team with sophomore J.J. Lewis and senior tight end Sam Mercer to give whoever wins the quarterback race legitimate options through the air. They are the reason Schmitz is installing more spread and shotgun plays this season. “You try to coach to your talent and we know the days of lining it up in the Wing-T and running that stuff, unless you’re a lot better than the team you’re playing, isn’t always going to work,” he said. “You’ve got to open it up and now we’ve got the players to allow us to do that.” DEMAND Unproven quarterback For the third straight season, Mitchell will start with a new signal caller. Senior Taylor Schneider, the team’s backup last season, is battling junior Alek Lambert for the starting nod. Schneider is the favorite to win the job based on experience, but Schmitz admits that Lambert is a better runner. Regardless, either one will be required to run a changing offense that’s run-first, but increasing its demand through the air. “We’re not going to be a team that throws it 20 times a game, but when we do throw it, we need our quarterback to make plays to move the chains,” Schmitz said. Schedule Aug. 30: at Anclote Sept. 6: Ridgewood Sept. 13: at Zephyrhills Sept. 20: Land O’ Lakes Sept. 27: at River Ridge Oct. 4: at Sunlake Oct. 11: Lecanto Oct. 18: Fivay Oct. 25: at Spring Hill Springstead Nov. 8: Gulf Roster No. Player Pos. Ht. Wt. Yr. 2 Nate Boler RB/DB 5-7 165 Sr. 3 Josh Lamb ATH/CB 5-11 170 Sr. 4 Travis Capps WR/CB 5-7 150 Sr. 5 Christian Trinidad HB/DB 5-10 170 Sr. 6 Alec Lambert QB/DB 6-1 165 Jr. 7 Dan Mason WR/FS 5-8 155 Sr. 8 Trevor Maples WR/DB 5-10 155 Jr. 9 Harry Wagner RB/LB 5-10 175 Jr. 10 J.J. Lewis WR/DB 6-0 160 So. 11 A.J. Mooney QB/DB 6-1 155 Jr. 12 Taylor Schneider QB/DB 5-8 155 Sr. 16 Tyler Capps WR/DB 5-7 155 Sr. 17 John Schwindt K/P 6-2 190 Sr. 20 Will Beier RB/LB 5-8 155 Sr. 21 Billy Breitfeller WR/DB 5-9 150 Jr. 22 Anthony Lebaron WR/DB 5-9 145 Jr. 23 Will Fairbank RB/DB 6-0 185 Jr. 25 Ryan Marsh RB/DB 5-9 160 Jr. 26 Brian Castro RB/DB 5-7 150 Sr. 27 Dwite McKinney WR/DB 5-11 155 Jr. 28 Nick Boler RB/DB 5-9 160 Jr. 29 Jeremy Lawrence WR/DB 5-11 155 Sr. 30 Demetri Dellis RB/DB 5-8 160 Jr. 32 Larry Couch FB/LB 6-0 200 Jr. 33 Colin Moran TE/DE 6-2 155 Jr. 41 Jon Sawyer TE/DE 6-2 165 Jr. 44 Zack Baker FB/LB 5-10 185 Jr. 45 Beau Beck RB/LB 5-11 185 Sr. 50 Connor Murchie OL/DT 5-10 215 Sr. 51 Austin Greene OC/DT 6-0 215 Sr. 55 Logan Brennen G/DT 5-11 205 Jr. 56 J.D. Hoppes T/LB 5-10 170 Sr. 58 Devontay Taylor G/DT 6-2 200 So. 60 Jeremy Gruerio G/LB 5-11 195 Sr. 68 Zack Curtis G/DT 5-10 195 Sr. 70 Joe Reinhardt T/DT 6-0 235 Sr. 74 Dillon Bryant T/DT 6-2 255 So. 76 Omar Minier OL/DL 5-11 240 Jr. 77 Tony Napoli OL/DT 6-3 250 Jr. 79 Austin Shearer T/DT 6-3 215 Jr. 80 Jack Mercer WR/DB 5-10 150 Sr. 81 Chris Worker TE/LB 6-0 170 Sr. 82 Sam Mercer TE/DE 6-2 205 Sr. 85 Grant Merer WR/DB 5-10 155 Sr. 87 Tyler Blackburn WR/LB 5-10 160 Jr. 88 Levi Oliveto TE/DE 6-2 190 Jr. 89 Morgan Luter TE/DE 6-2 200 Jr. 99 Zack Rapaport WR/DE 6-5 200 Sr.