Things like heart, determination and passion are, Mitchell says, important to the success of a football team.
And he openly admits that those traits were lacking from his winless 2013 Trojan squad.
He got his fill of those things from his 2014 bunch during Beeville’s first scrimmage of the year on Friday at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
“The ingredients that it takes to win,” Mitchell said, “or be successful in football – the mental toughness, the playing hard, when something bad happens continuing to fight – all those characteristics I saw tonight, and we never saw them last year.
“Those intangible improvements are what I’m most excited about.”
The Trojans and the visiting George West Longhorns each scored once during the first part of the varsity scrimmage. The two squads also traded touchdowns in the timed quarter, which was the final part of the scrimmage.
Mitchell said he was happy with the way both the offensive and defensive units played.
“I thought we played really well on defense. We had some cover issues, which is normal this time of year. But stopping the running game vs. that offense, I was really happy with.”
Offensively, Mitchell’s spread system is based on tempo and speed. He was happy with that as well.
“The tempo of our offense and the speed of our offense ... I was happy with that too. I really was. I thought we were really working hard on offense.
“I thought our timing was really good. Our screens were right on time, way ahead of where they normally are at this point. I thought our front blocked well. I just thought all of our timing had the speed it needed and was where it needed to be. We’re way ahead of where I thought we would be. I was excited about that.”
Still, Mitchell was quick to point that his team still needs some work.
“We’ve got a lot of improving yet to do, and we’ve got to fix all the little things and get consistent with them,” he said after the scrimmage.
Overall, he left the stadium happy but reserved about his team’s performance.
“We went out and played really well. Things looked really good,” he said. “We had the speed, the timing, the tempo, the want-to, the toughness, but we really should have blown those guys out of the stadium and didn’t.
“So we’ve still got a ways to go.”
In the junior varsity portion of the scrimmage, George West won 2-1 after scoring on its final offensive play.
At the freshmen level, the two squads deadlocked at one touchdown apiece.
Kevin J. Keller is the sports editor at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 343-5223, or at sports@mySouTex.com, or follow him on Twitter, @beepicsports.