Spiced Up Showcase: Jasmyn Mitchner – Robinson HS Flag Football

    Robinson High School in Tampa, Florida has set the standard for girls flag football across the nation over the last decade.

    The Knights have won eight straight state championships, and nine overall since 2014.

    A 27-6 win over Pembroke Pines Charter pushed Robinson to another title capping off this season. Robinson had many contributors to the team, but one major player was relatively new to the flag football world.

    Sophomore Jasmyn Mitchner had just became a Knight in her freshman year, transferring to Robinson as she went in to high school. Mitchner excelled on the soccer pitch, and hadn’t thought of playing flag football until coach Joshua Saunders approached her parents and asked her to come and try out.

    Mitchner led the way for the soccer team with a team high 27 goals and the second most assists with 11. While she was a standout in soccer, flag football was a new challenge.

    “I had never played prior to this and I didnt know I was going to try out, but I ended up watching a practice and thought maybe I could try it.” Mitchner said. “I tried out for the team and ended up making JV, which I was surprised about seeing how I had never caught a football prior to tryouts ever.”

    Mitchner went from having never caught a football to being a starter on the junior varsity team all throughout her freshman year. When the Knights varsity team made another state run, Mitchner was asked to join the playoff roster.

    That experience resonated with her, getting to see the team’s state championship trip firsthand and even getting to play some snaps.

    “I just felt a sense something that I have been missing,” Mitchner said. “I kind of knew that they were building me up to play on varsity the next year since the starters were seniors on varsity this past year so I just worked up to the fact of knowing that I was going to be having to fill pretty big shoes.”

    Of course with the new role came new expectations, which is already challenging enough in its own right, but even more so at a program like Robinson.

    “The fact that Robinson has been good for the past many years with something that definitely scared me before and made me nervous on the fact of not knowing if I could play up to that level or help out the team in ways that they needed,” Mitchner said.

    Mitchner ended up being a contributor for the Knights in multiple facets.

    On defense, she led the team with 29 sacks – 19 more than the next closest Robinson player.

    She amassed 63 tackles and tallied three interceptions.

    Mitchner also made an impact offensively, notching 70 catches for 11 touchdowns. She also added two rushing touchdowns, too.

    While those stats are impressive, Mitchner was perhaps at her best when her team needed her to be the most in the state playoffs.

    In the state semifinals win vs Braden River, Mitchner recorded two rushing touchdowns on offense and three sacks on defense. That relentless pressure helped cause two interceptions.

    Mitchner continued that success in the state championship, scoring on a receiving touchdown and adding another sack as well.

    “I feel that I demonstrated my versatility and contributing significantly on both offense and defense,” Mitchner said. “I feel that I played some pretty key plays that led into touchdowns while defensively we also helped prevent the opposing team from gaining momentum.”

    The Robinson defense shut out 17 of their 24 opponents en route to an undefeated season. Mitchner says it was the “aggression” that helped make the defense so tough to score on.

    “Nobody on our defense was easy to get around … Everybody on our defense knew what they had to do and was aggressive doing it,” Mitchner said. “When the linebackers needed to gain and then come down hard to get somebody short then they would do that.

    “Our biggest people on defense that I think really made a difference were our linebackers, especially Jordyn [Johnson] and Tammy [Jerson]. They both added something that you dont see from everybody elses defense.”

    While only a year ago Mitchner was unsure of how she would make an impact on the team, her presence was certainly felt throughout in her first full year of playing on varsity.

    She has taken that in stride, especially being able to step up for a program like Robinson.

    “Being able to say that I play for Robinson is just an honor in the fact of carrying on that legacy is definitely something hard that you have to keep working towards keeping it alive, but its just amazing to think that you can be a part of something so big,” Mitchner said.

    While soccer is still the sport she is passionate about and she hopes to be able to continue playing soccer into college, Mitchner has come to love flag football as well and is excited for the future of the sport.

    “We are only at the beginning of what flag football is right right now and its just so much more to come within the next few few years,” Mitchner said. “Im very exciting to look forward to seeing it.”

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