Mitchell honored as Tigers’ No. 1 fan

Published 10:36 pm Monday, October 20, 2008

If you want to find LeRoy “Red” Mitchell on a Friday night in the fall you don’t have to look hard.

Every Friday night for 30-plus years he’s been on the sidelines with the Demopolis High School football team.

“I didn’t realize it was going to be like that when I first started,” he said. “It’s just something I enjoy.”

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During Friday night’s regular season finale at Memorial Stadium Mitchell was recognized and presented with a plaque proclaiming him as the Tigers’ No. 1 fan in thanks for his attendance in more than 300 consecutive football games both at home and away.

“I enjoy being on the sidelines and I think the kids enjoy me on the sidelines,” he said. “I give them pep talks and I talk with the coaches…I look forward to it every Friday.”

Mitchell served as the team’s videographer until a bout with arthritis forced him to give that up and despite witnessing some of the biggest and most important games in DHS history, Mitchell said he counts the Tigers’ win over Greenville last week as one of his all-time favorite games.

“It was exciting,” he said. “We got behind and came back and won. They played hard. It was a good football game. The most exciting thing about it was getting this plaque and No. 1 fan (award).”

Mitchell, a 1966 graduate of U.S. Jones, said he attended his first Tiger football game after the school integrated in the 70s. He’s gone every Friday night since and Mitchell said he would continue to be a fixture on the DHS sidelines, through sickness and in health.

“I didn’t go to the jamboree this summer and I don’t usually go to jamborees,” he laughed, “but I had people calling me at home to make sure I was okay just because they didn’t see me at the game.”

“I just really appreciate the award and everything everybody did for me,” he said. “I enjoy going to the games and to get this award was really something special.”