Skip to main content

TRINITY, FL  – The Mitchell Mustangs have been a team on the rise in Pasco County over the last few years and their ascension to being one of Tampa Bay’s best has not gone unnoticed.

Mitchell in 2020 was able to take Edgewater to the brink in a Class 7A region final before succumbing in the final minutes and just last season fell in a defensive battle versus a very talented Wharton club. Now the Mustangs bring back many starters on both sides of the ball and it all is about continuity for Mitchell.

Head coach Andy Schmitz, who heads into his ninth season as the program’s lead man, brings back quarterback/safety Chris Ferrini and a very experienced offense. Ferrini had to play multiple positions all across the board on offense for Mitchell in 2021, with the athlete now settling in at quarterback with the graduation of Ethan Rice.

In 2021, Ferrini was a threat to throw, run or even catch the football for Mitchell and the senior heads into this summer/fall season as one of the top signal callers in Pasco County. He’s joined by a battalion of running backs in the backfield, as Mitchell brings back the likes of Jack Sutherlin, Nick Wolfgang and Jamarion Miller. All three bring a different dynamic running style to the table that compliments Ferrini, who rushed for over 500 yards himself last season.

Defensively the Mustangs are always one of the more sound units around under the guidance of defensive coordinator Justin Fenton. Mitchell yielded 162 points through 11 games and always kept the pressure on opposing quarterbacks and running backs, totaling 39 sacks and 103 tackles for loss. Mitchell has back on defense Ferrini and also defensive back Jayden Kirkland.

One player that gets overlooked through the midst of the plenty of high-profile athletes throughout the county is wide receiver Dryak Simmons, who was the team’s leading wide-out in 2021. Simmons hauled in 24 catches for 371 yards and scored seven touchdowns and hopes are he will take it up another notch.

Mitchell also boasts one of the most experienced coaching staffs in Pasco County, as a slew of coaches on staff have either been a head coach before or been a candidate for the position. The Mustangs lost offensive line coach Alphonso Freeney, as he took the head coaching job at Pasco High School, but Mitchell added former Sunlake head coach Trey Burdick, former Fivay head coach Matt Durchik and former Hudson head coach Robbie Mahler on staff.

The Mustangs open up the regular season on August 26th when they face off against crosstown rival Gulf Buccaneers at home before facing off versus neighboring rivals East Lake and River Ridge. With expectations rising over at Mitchell, the Mustangs are once again in the thick of things in being a district championship contender and making some noise in Class 4-Suburban.

Andy Villamarzo can be reached at and follow him on Twitter @Andy_Villamarzo.