For a team that has seen as much success as the Hillcrest Patriots in recent years, roadblocks have not come often. But when former head coach Sam Adams announced his intention to move onto Oxford High School this offseason, the Patriots were in a bit of a bind.

In search of a new coach, Hillcrest turned to Jamie Mitchell out of Shades Valley, a 23-year coaching veteran with two state titles under his belt in Mississippi and Arkansas.

At Tuscaloosa County Media Day, hosted by Tuscaloosa County High School's CATS-TV Program, Mitchell took to the stage to discuss his transition into an already established program and what that entails.

"We certainly want to come in and continue the traditions that are there," Mitchell said. "Our job is to try and get it to the next level. We've got good talent and we're off to a good start."

Fans of Hillcrest football should expect to see an new attack from the Patriots offensively and defensively.

"We're going to be different on both sides of the ball," Mitchell said. "We'll be different schematically on offense and defense. I'm a guy that likes to establish the run and get pressure on defense."

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Regardless of the changes coming to the Patriots in 2021, the team returns star quarterback Ethan Crawford for his junior season.

"He's the guy that stirs the drink for us," Mitchell said of his signal-caller. "He's a multi-talented kid.  He's a great runner and thrower and is obviously going to be a huge key for us on that side of the ball."

Hillcrest finished their 2020 season 9-2 (5-1), playing in one of 6A's toughest regions, and was shut out in the second round of the playoffs by Opelika 28-0. The Patriots begin its 2021 season on August 20 against Homewood and are looking for a statement win in Week 1 under a new coach.

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