For Oak Creek NOW All-Suburban defensive lineman Peter Mitchell, experience is everything.
One of the few returning holdovers from the Knights' impressive 2012 Southeast Conference championship unit, the 6-3, 225-pound tackle studied the techniques of others before him and adopted them to his betterment.
And though the Knights defense could not quite live up to the standards of 2012, it was more than respectable, allowing about 18.6 ppg. The defense helped the team go 6-4 in a season where Oak Creek advanced to the state playoffs for the second straight year, the first time it accomplished this feat in several seasons.
"All of our coaches wanted us to be the best players that we could be," Mitchell said. "No matter what age, what experience level, you can always come up, you can always get better. That previous year we had one of the best defenses in the area and we wanted to keep it going."
Coach Mike Bartholomew was proud of Mitchell's efforts.
"He was the top vote-getter at defensive tackle in the Southeast Conference and he plays as hard as he can all the time," Bartholomew said. "He's very quick and uses his hands well. Very physical and very smart within our scheme. He really helped keep them (the opposing offensive linemen) off our linebackers."
Getting better was Mitchell's top goal.
"I know I've improved," Mitchell said. "It comes from knowing the system, and I tried to help the younger kids too the same way I was. It's just a matter of repetition. They needed to know that the varsity game is a different speed, a very big difference from junior varsity.
"I know I'm not the biggest, the strongest, but I am fundamentally sound," he said. "I can get there."
He also earned All-Region honors.
Mitchell said he liked the teamwork that the Knights showed this season.
"I think the way we bonded was a little different than last year," he said. "Last year, there was a real familiarity with everyone (because they were so experienced) it just seemed natural. We weren't as experienced this year so we developed more of a personal bond."
Mitchell, who has also been involved in powerlifting and track, would like to play football in college if the opportunity arises. He's going to back off on his other extracurriculars now that football is over because he wants to gain experience in another field.
A prospective business major in college, he just landed a good marketing internship.
"The interview was just a few weeks ago," he said. "I'm really excited to get into it."
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