FORT PAYNE — Fyffe senior Jacob Mitchell was rewarded for his curricular and extracurricular work last month.
Mitchell was chosen for Class 3A, Region 7’s Bryant-Jordan Scholar-Athlete Award. Mitchell received a scholarship and advanced to the state level, where he’ll be added to the running for the top award in 3A and the top award among all classifications.
The Bryant-Jordan Program, named in honor of legendary coaches Paul “Bear” Bryant and Ralph “Shug” Jordan,annually recognizes 52 senior student-athletes, one from each of the eight AHSAA districts in Classes 1A-6A and one from each of the four districts in Class 7A.
“It’s an honor to not only be recognized for my athletic achievements but academic achievements in the classroom as well,” Mitchell said. “I try to do my best in everything I do, regardless if it’s on the ball field or in the classroom.”
Mitchell joined Ider senior Kaleigh Carson and Ben Watkins as DeKalb County students to receive awards from the Bryant-Jordan Student-Athlete Program.
Mitchell and other region award winners from across the state will be celebrated during the 35th-annual Bryant-Jordan Awards Banquet and Ceremony, scheduled for April 12 at the Sheraton-Birmingham hotel ballroom. The pandemic could alter the event and any changes will be announced at a later date.
Mitchell said his favorite school subject is history because he said he loves learning about the past and the foundation of America and what has foiled the nation over time.
He said he plans to major in sports management at either Shorter University (Rome, Ga.), the University of Alabama-Huntsville or Liberty University (Lynchburg, Va.).
Mitchell was part of Fyffe’s historic senior class that lost only one football game in four years as varsity players. The lone loss came when Mitchell and his classmates were freshmen; it was a loss at Sulligent in the third round of the AHSAA Class 2A state playoffs. On top of the varsity winnings, Mitchell’s group of football seniors only lost a couple of games as pee-wee players.
“Most kids will never get to do what we’ve been blessed to do,” said Mitchell, who played defensive end and center. “I think we’ll all remember it forever and it will be something people will be talking about for years.”
Mitchell said the bond between his classmates has allowed for the great on-field success through the years.
“Even when we first started playing, we didn’t care who was scoring the touchdowns or who was getting in the news,” he said of his fellow classmates. “All we cared about was winning. I think we knew if we worked hard and stuck together, we could have something special.”
A love of sports started early for Mitchell. While many kids were watching cartoons at ages 3 and 4, Mitchell was watching sports.
“I didn’t care to watch cartoons,” he said.
Mitchell began playing basketball in third grade and then started football in fifth grade before adding golf as a middle-schooler. He did it all at Fyffe.
“I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else,” he said.