Talented defender Javier Mitchell and the Leeds Green Wave held off a pesky Hamilton team to win the Class 3A title and finish the year undefeated.
"It was a great win for us," Mitchell said. "Just to have the state championship is the greatest feeling ever. This is a great team. It was just a great game."
With five tackles and a sack in the 42-32 win, Mitchell was a big part of a defense that bent but didn't break in the victory. At 6-3, 205 and better than 4.5 speed in the 40-yard dash, Mitchell moved around from end to noseguard and everywhere in between during the win. He said the game and the season have been big for his growth as a player.
"On the defensive side of the ball we tried to stop the run and get some pressure on the quarterback," Mitchell said. "When we watched film on them they really moved the ball well and we wanted to slow them down. As the defense we had some confidence after allowing just 13 points.
"Based on last season to this season I've gotten a lot better with my technique and my stance and start," Mitchell added. "Moving to the defensive line had some adversity at first but I was able to go and make plays and get after the quarterback."
With an early offer from the Auburn Tigers, Mitchell got an added boost in the state championship game because it was played in Jordan-Hare Stadium. Getting a feel for what it would be like to play in the stadium was important for Mitchell who said the Tigers are very high on his list at the moment.
"It was great because it helps me decide if I want to play there or not," Mitchell said. "Auburn is up there.
"The one thing that stands out to me the most about Auburn is their tradition," Mitchell said. "I love the traditions like the eagle and the chants like War Eagle. They go through my head all the time and I'm whistling them.
"They have a great football team," said. "The offense is sound and the defense needs some work. When I get up there I'll change that. Overall Auburn is a great school, a great football team, it's just wonderful."
A teammate of Auburn commitment Jonathan Rose, Mitchell said he's been getting plenty of talk from the future Tiger about joining him in the Plains. While that's certainly an option, for now Mitchell said his only goal is improvement in all phases of the game.
"One thing I want to work on is being a better person physically and mentally and overcoming adversity and keep going hard," Mitchell said. "I also want to improve my stamina."