At age 17, the former gymnast had become too old to compete in his original sport, so he shifted his focus to cheerleading, where tumbling is revered.
"I think at first they were shocked that a guy was trying out for the team but they were very supportive," he said. "The experience has been really fun."
Coach Tatum Garcia welcomed the addition of a male cheerleader to the team, especially since he brings with him the ability to do a notoriously tough standing back tuck.
"He's a great tumbler," she said. "Cheerleading is a little different for the guys. There aren't as many movements with the feet and hips. So he's focusing on making his arm movements nice and sharp. His strength is great for stunting but having a male on the team also helps get the crowd involved."
With 27 members on the JV team (nearly double last year's number), the Patriots are looking to build on last season's success. Even though most were new to the sport, the team had three squads qualify for the United Spirit Association National Championships in Anaheim in March. The Officers squad finished eighth out of 15 and was the only team in East County to bring home a trophy.
"Everyone one on the team has prior experience this year so we're definitely going to be building on that," Garcia said.
She added that she'd like to see more males join the team in coming years, to which Mitchell responded, "That'd be awesome."
The Patriot cheerleaders will work on their cheers and routines at camp on July 13. The first competition to qualify for nationals is scheduled for September in Santa Cruz.