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Timmy Mitchell’s Central Catholic career one for the storybooks — from freshman sensation to 2-time state champion

“He’s a great athlete, a great guy and a great leader”
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Timmy Mitchell was taking it all in. 

He had a smile as he was surrounded by friends, family and teammates.

Mitchell was still smiling as he took part in a big group photo with his fellow defensive backs.

The smile got even bigger as he looked back on his four years on the Central Catholic football team — and how those four years with the Rams finished. 

In fact, it couldn’t have finished any better for Mitchell and Central Catholic.

Mitchell, a standout senior defensive back/kick returner for the Rams, went out as a champion as he helped Central Catholic earn a 49-21 win over Tualatin in the Class 6A state championship game Friday at Hillsboro Stadium.

“It’s a great feeling,” Mitchell said. “I put all my hard work into it. I didn’t have a great junior year, so it was great not being hurt this year, just being ready to play.”

And, wow, was the speedy 5-foot-10, 170-pound Mitchell ready to play as a senior.

Coming back from an injury-plagued junior season, Mitchell was nothing short of spectacular, helping the Rams put together a 13-0 season, capped by the title-game victory against the Timberwolves.

Mitchell finished the season with seven interceptions and four punt returns for touchdowns.

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Despite those impressive numbers, it’s been the time he’s spent on the Central Catholic team that has brought the biggest smile to his face.

“It all has meant a lot,” Mitchell said. “It’s been a great experience. I have a lot of good friends, family and coaches. I love all those guys. It was just great having these four years here.”

Those four years started with a bang. 

As a freshman, Mitchell received action during the shortened 2021 spring season. That summer, he became the first freshman selected to play in the Les Schwab Bowl, a high school football all-star game featuring many top players from around the state.

Not only did Mitchell get to play in the 2021 Les Schwab Bowl, but he shined in it. Mitchell had a 96-yard fumble return for a touchdown and was named the North team’s Back of the Game.

As a sophomore, Mitchell helped the Rams win the Class 6A state title. He had a 27-yard fumble return for a touchdown in Central Catholic’s 44-14 win over Tualatin in the state championship game. He had seven tackles, including one for loss, and broke up three passes in the title game that year.

After battling injuries as a junior, Mitchell bounced back in his senior year — in a very big way.

Not only did he star as a defensive back and a kick returner, Mitchell also played an important role in helping the Central Catholic receivers step up in the 2023 season.

“Timmy has done a lot, for sure,” senior receiver Niko May said. “He and all the other DBs push us every day in practice. He’s a dog.”

He’s also much appreciated by his teammates.

“Timmy is just an all-around player,” junior receiver Landon Kelsey said. “He can play both sides of the ball. He’s an aggressive DB, shadows people and makes them better. All and all, he’s a great athlete, a great guy and a great leader.”

He definitely helped lead the way in Friday’s championship victory, aiding in tight coverage in the defensive backfield in addition to being in on seven tackles.

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He was a bit disappointed that Tualatin kicked away from him, not giving him a prime opportunity for a punt return.

“No, I didn’t really get a chance, but that’s a good thing for them,” Mitchell said with a laugh.

Mitchell did have one punt return in the game, fielding the ball after a couple bounces, running to the side, then back, then trying to go up the field — ending with a 1-yard loss.

But no matter what, it sounds like the best memories for Mitchell will be of playing four years for the Rams and his time at Central Catholic High School.

“It means a lot. I feel like I’ve worked hard. I’ve never let up, even in practice. I’m just a hard worker. I didn’t always used to be that way, so I think I’ve grown a lot,” he said.

“These four years here have been great. It’s a small community. You get to know people, and it’s just fun going to school here.”

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More from the 6A final:

Central Catholic wins another crown as injuries, Cru Newman too much for Tualatin to overcome

For Tualatin, what-if finish doesn’t diminish another special season: ‘I love my guys forever’

Central Catholic tops Tualatin in Oregon 6A football final: Photos

Rebuilt lines a key reason for Central Catholic’s run to 6A championship game

Tale of the tape: Who has the edge between Central Catholic and Tualatin in the Oregon 6A football final?