Mitchell ‘a special young man’
Dennis Mitchell was the “heart and soul” of the Byhalia High School football team, head coach John Danley said.
“He was a great kid; everybody loved him,” he said.
The sophomore died Friday night at the hospital in Clarksdale after collapsing on the sideline during the Indians’ game versus Coahoma County.
Mitchell, 16, was a two-year starter on the defensive line.
Danley said the offense was on the field in the second quarter and Mitchell, as usual, was standing on the sideline “cheering them on” when he collapsed.
An ambulance transported Mitchell to the hospital.
“That shook everybody,” Danley said. “Naturally, we were not focused on the game after that. My guys were more concerned about their teammate.”
He said Mitchell always had a smile on his face.
“He always rallied his teammates if needed,” Danley said. “He knew how to fire them up. But he also helped them relax with his laughter.
“He was a special young man. It’s hard for me to understand. It’s sad – very sad.”
Danley and the team were informed of Mitchell’s death after the game, a 28-7 win.
The head coach said the Indians will dedicate the rest of the season to Mitchell.
“We will play for him and we will play hard – to the best of our ability,” the head coach said.
Funeral services for Mitchell will be this Saturday at 10 a.m. in the Byhalia High School gymnasium.