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No rest for Mitchell at All-Star Classic: SHS coach working with Mississippi offense

December 12, 2012

Starkville High School head coach Jamie Mitchell, left, instructs Ocean Springs quarterback Wes Windham during practice for the Mississippi-Alabama All-Star Classic. (AP photo)

Most coaches get a little rest and relaxation after winning a State championship.

Not so for Starkville High School's Jamie Mitchell.

Mitchell went right back to work as he has the responsibility of being the offensive coordinator for Mississippi in Saturday's Mississippi-Alabama All-Star Classic. The 26th annual edition kicks off at noon in Montgomery, Ala.

While the Yellowjackets were making their push toward the Class 5A State title, Mitchell had to put off preparation for the Mississippi-Alabama game.

He's had some catching up to do.

"I kept pushing that back and thinking I'll have time, but when you have the offense, preparation has to be done," Mitchell said. "I told my wife that I thought I'd have a chance to catch my breath, but I've been in it for two more weeks full. I'm not complaining because I'm very excited about that. There's a lot of work involved."

Mitchell has not gone to Montgomery alone. He has company with SHS players Gabe Myles and Juwon Johnson.

"It will be their first experience with players at every position who are just as good as you if not better," Mitchell said. "It's a great challenge for them individually. As far as athletics goes, it will be a big moment for them."

Myles, who led the Jackets at quarterback, will be mostly used on defense by the Mississippi All-Stars. During the season, he only had three tackles on defense for SHS.

He has committed to Mississippi State as a defensive back, so Mitchell knows the importance of getting him ready on that side of the football.
"We'll have some packages for him (on offense), but he will mainly be playing defense," Mitchell said.

On offense, Myles completed 89-of-184 pass attempts for 1,243 yards with 14 touchdowns and rushed for 591 yards on 139 carries with 11 more scores.

Mitchell said that's going to be 1,843 yards of total offense and 25 touchdowns that's going to be difficult to replace next season.

"When you don't have him under center, you'll realize real quick how valuable he was," Mitchell said.

Johnson, who also played on both sides of the football for the Jackets, expects to also play primarily on defense for the Mississippi All-Stars.
Starkville defensive coordinator Brooks Oakley calls Johnson "explosive" and at 6-3, 295 pounds can be "so hard to move."

Mitchell said Johnson was a key for the Jackets in their State championship run.

"He battled through some injuries, got banged up late in the year and in the playoffs, but in the last couple of weeks, he was really good for us," Mitchell said. "You don't get many kids his size that have the ability he has. He's got great skills."

Johnson had 24 tackles during the season, including four tackles for a loss and one fumble recovery.

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