POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — Cody Mitchell would be the first person to tell you that a lot of important people played a major role in how well his senior year — and his career — went at Point Pleasant High School.
What he wouldn’t tell you, although he probably has been told, is how much those same important people enjoyed having him on their team — rather than playing against him.
The 6-foot-3, 235-pound jack of all trades made major headlines throughout the Mountain State this past school year, rather it was on the gridiron, his signing to play football at Marshall University or competing in throwing events this past spring in track and field.
And for those variety of reasons, Mitchell was deemed the top story to come out of the Ohio Valley Publishing area.
Mitchell rushed for 2,321 yards and 43 touchdowns on 178 carries while leading the Big Blacks to a 12-1 overall mark and a Class AAA state semifinal appearance. Mitchell also amassed 101 tackles and 5.5 sacks for a defense that yielded just 11.7 points per game.
Mitchell — who was part of teams that went 41-6 during his four years of varsity football — owns several school records, including most touchdowns (101), rushing yards (5,197) and all-purpose yards (7,233) over a career. Mitchell also owns a state playoff record in Class AAA with seven rushing touchdowns in a game.
For his efforts, Mitchell became the first Point Pleasant athlete to ever win the Gatorade Player of the Year in West Virginia in early December, then was named the Ohio Valley Publishing offensive player of the year, the WVMetroNews player of the year, a first-team all-state selection by USA Today, and also came away with 2015 Curt Warner Award — which goes to the top running back in the state of West Virginia.
Mitchell was a major part of a 2015 campaign in which the Big Blacks set state records for rushing yards and points scored in a season. The two-time first team Class AAA selection was also part of Point Pleasant’s current 33-game regular season winning streak — which is currently best in the entire Mountain State.
The only big award that Mitchell didn’t come away with was the Kennedy Award, the annual honor given to West Virginia’s top football player. Mitchell finished second in the voting to Capital quarterback Tyrhee Pratt, a West Virginia University signee.
During the 2015 football campaign, Mitchell averaged 10 yards per carry and over 178 rushing yards per game while also contributing just under four touchdowns per contest. Mitchell was also the Big Blacks’ leading receiver with 15 catches for 213 yards.
For his career, Mitchell is atop the PPHS leaderboard in touchdowns (39) and all-purpose yards (2,512) in a season. Mitchell is also second all-time in a career in both receiving yards (1,096) and receptions (67).
Mitchell owns both the shot put and discus records at Point Pleasant in boys track and field, and he also earned five podium finishes at the state meet in those two events.
Mitchell was the 2015 shot put runner-up, finished second in the discus in 2014 and was also fourth in the 2013 discus final at the Class AAA level.
Then, during his final weekend wearing Point Pleasant’s colors, Mitchell redefined his prep career at the state track meet at Laidley Field.
Mitchell earned a pair of podium finishes, which included a second place effort in the shot put on Saturday morning before capturing gold just hours later in the discus event.
What’s more, Mitchell’s winning throw of 173 feet, 6 inches in the discus event came on his sixth and final attempt of the day. Only one competitor had a single throw following Mitchell’s winning heave, but that last toss wasn’t enough to knock Mitchell off the top of the podium.
Mitchell accounted for all 18 of the Black Knights’ points at the state meet, which tied both Ripley and Huntington for 14th place overall.
Mitchell, who was the 2014 AAA runner-up in the state discus final, became the first male athlete from PPHS to win gold at Laidley Field since Tanner Hill won the AAA shot put crown in 2014. Cody also joined some pretty elite company in his own household.
His dad, Darrell, won the 1986 discus title before heading to West Virginia University for football, while his brother Derek won the 171-pound individual wrestling title in Class AA in 2009 before walking on as a linebacker at Marshall.
Cody is considering Exercise Science as a possible major at MU, but he is still officially undecided. Cody held a 3.7 GPA at Point Pleasant High School and is the son of Darrell and Debbie Mitchell of Point Pleasant.
Other D-1 programs with interest in Cody for football included Indiana, Northwestern, Wake Forest and West Virginia. Mitchell was the only 2016 Marshall signee to come from within the Mountain State.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.