Mitchell has a nice surprise at state

Chris Steele
Connor Mitchell won the Illinois boys' 10-to-11 Punt, Pass and Kick state competition held at Halas Hall in Chicago.

Geneseo’s Connor Mitchell said he could have performed better at the Illinois state Punt, Pass, and Kick competition.

So was he stunned by the results?

“Oh, Yeah,” said Mitchell enthusiastically.

He surprised everyone by winning the boys’ 10-to-11 PPK state competition held at Halas Hall, in Chicago, on Dec. 3.

Seeded fourth coming out of the regional competition held in Geneseo, Mitchell thought he didn’t perform as well at state.

His numbers told a different story about his performance at the indoor practice facility of the Chicago Bears.

Mitchell used his favorite event - punting - to launch him into the winner’s circle.

He blasted a punt of 90’, threw a pass 78’4” and smashed a kick 74’4” for a winning total of 242’8”.

Mitchell finished off the weekend by being introduced along with the rest of the competitors at Soldier Field before the San Francisco 49ers and Chicago Bears game.

“It was amazing,” said Mitchell of the game that was blanketed with snow. “I can’t describe it.”

While he was shown on the Jumbotron before the game, Mitchell’s favorite moment came when he received a high-five from 49ers’ star running back Carlos Hyde.

A fifth grader at Millikin Elementary, Mitchell helps the Green Machine sophomore football team as a ball boy during the fall.

A fan of the Packers, Mitchell’s favorite player is Aaron Rodgers.

However, Mitchell enjoyed seeing a section of Halas Hall displaying highlights from the career of Bears great

Walter Payton.

He plans to compete in the PPK state competition next year and may have another surprise in store again.